Mangrove boardwalk (artist's impression – courtesy of Townsville City Council)

As work on the North Queensland Stadium hits 38% of completion, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys welcome news of the Townsville Waterfront Promenade project that will link CBD parking to the club's new home.

In news published in the Townsville Bulletin last week, the $10.2 million investment will "transform Townsville’s waterfront" with a four metre-wide promenade and 745m of pathways and 69m of mangrove boardwalks.

The project includes conversion of the existing Little Fletcher Bridge to a pedestrian bridge, giving a direct link to the new stadium from the Central precinct.

Image courtesy of Townsville City Council
Image courtesy of Townsville City Council

Project funding will come in the form of $5 million from the Queensland Government's 'Building our Regions' program, with Townsville City Council contributing $5.2 million, with 34 construction jobs supported.

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel described the announcement as a great boost for the club and its members and fans.

"We applaud the decision by the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to invest in this important infrastructure as part of the CBD revitalisation and stadium precinct," Mr Reibel said.

"Parking and transport at the North Queensland Stadium for Cowboys home games from 2020 are topics frequently raised by our members and fans, and this development will really open up access to the venue through the CBD.

"We know our members and fans would take advantage of improved access to CBD car parking facilities with a short walk to our magnificent new home.

"The development will also complement and support the club's Community, Training and High Performance Centre that will sit beside our new stadium, and we're continuing our funding campaign to ensure this essential facility becomes a reality for our club and region."

Precinct Masterplan (Arup) – courtesy of Townsville City Council
Precinct Masterplan (Arup) – courtesy of Townsville City Council

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the waterfront promenade, providing a new pedestrian and cycling link over the Ross Creek connecting the stadium precinct to the CBD, was 'crucial'.

“The waterfront promenade will be a catalyst for other future developments such as the North and South Rail Yards and the remaining council-owned land in the stadium precinct and will provide a direct connection between the CBD via the stadium precinct to Central Park and Palmer Street,” Ms Hill said.

With just 11 regular-season home games left to play at 1300SMILES Stadium, the Cowboys will pay tribute to their inaugural home ground in 2019 before making the move to a completed North Queensland Stadium for the start of the 2020 NRL season.

The North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council and is supported by the National Rugby League and the North Queensland Cowboys. It forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.