Lifesavers have breathed new life into the Pambula Beach viewing platform damaged during destructive seas in June, reopening it just before Christmas with the addition of a disabled access ramp and pathway.
People of all ages and physical disabilities can now transition from the car park to the platform, allowing them to have unsurpassed views across Pambula Beach to Merimbula and Haycock Point.
A collaborative approach by Pambula Surf Life Saving Club, Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC), Andrew Marshman Engineers, SL Hodgson Builders and Coastal Builders saw the project kick-started with the platform refounded on the seaward side, a ramp added and recycled plastic walkway sections linking the platform with the pathways running from both carparks.
Pambula SLSC member Don Hay coordinated the project and said it had been 11 years in the making.
“My father had a bad fall in 2005 while trying to find a vantage point to watch a surf carnival here and that has been my driving force to help all people get access to see the ocean. It is a great feeling for all who have worked on the platform to see this achieved,” Mr Hay said.
Stage one, the viewing platform, was originally opened in December 2015 with the assistance of Pambula Rotary Club during construction, with stage two comprising the disabled ramp and walkway to be completed in 2016.
“As the project was being driven by volunteers, we had to time construction around our work and other commitments and the destructive storm in June added another dimension to the project as not only were new poles required to replace those washed away, but some form of balustrade was required due to the sheer height of the platform off the beach. We went from ground level to a five metre drop overnight,” Mr Hay explained.
“To have the platform fully accessible for Christmas 2016, we needed a collaborative approach from the main stakeholders. Andrew Marshman Engineers provided engineering on the poles required, BVSC funded the gal dipped steel balustrade and plastic pathway and the surf club funded the cost of the poles and provided the construction labour voluntarily. SL Hodgson Builders and Coastal Builders provided construction consultancy an extra workers when required during concrete pours and pole installation. It was a great effort by all.”
Pambula SLSC president Stephen Hodgson said the platform is a great asset to the local community and thanked all who had been involved. He said the efforts of members Don Hay, Frank Davey and Peter Bootes in particular, had been instrumental in seeing the project completed for Christmas.
“We have seen people with prams, oxygen trolleys, wheelchairs and walking frames using the platform with their families and friends and this in itself is what the whole project revolved around. Until now this has been very difficult for people with accessibility issues to get a look at the ocean but this has now been resolved,” Mr Hodgson said.
“Surf lifesavers and contract lifeguards will also use the facility as a vantage point when on-duty and this will add another layer of safety for people visiting Pambula Beach.”
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