Cooks Hill - Council Street renewal

Council Street, Cooks Hill, between Darby Street and Bruce Street is undergoing major renewal. This project includes significant infrastructure upgrades, which aim to improve stormwater drainage for the street, as well as the greater Cooks Hill and The Hill catchments.

We will also upgrade the footpath, roadway, kerb and gutter and plant new street trees. The layout of the street will be adjusted to improve traffic circulation and safety and provide additional parking.

The overall project started in January 2019 and is expected to be completed in January 2021.

Work includes

  • Upsizing and replacing stormwater drainage
  • New road and footpath pavement
  • Removal of existing road block
  • One way traffic flow from Darby Street to Bruce Street
  • Road blisters for traffic calming
  • A separated cycle lane and bike racks
  • New street trees and landscaped vegetation
  • New street lighting.

Benefits include

  • Reduced flood risk to residents and improved overland flow of water
  • Safer pedestrian and cycle movements
  • Additional 7 car spaces (49 total) to support Darby Street businesses
  • 19 new street trees across the project
  • Safer access for waste services
  • Improved street lighting.

Project update

Works are nearing completion in Council Street, which will improve stormwater drainage issues and create an appealing, well-functioning street for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.

Road resurfacing and the replacement of kerb and gutter was finished by Christmas 2020. Construction of footpaths was also completed at this time, with the exception of the path in front of the Delaney Hotel which will be finalised when we get access to the area again in early 2021.

We will then complete planting and installation of artwork early in 2021 and we look forward to celebrating the completion of these works
soon after.

Previous project updates

Project background and consultation

The renewal of Council Street is part of our commitment to building a smart, liveable, sustainable global city. The aged drainage infrastructure in Council Street and major problems with tree roots of mature trees in the street were significantly impeding the flow of water, leading to significant localised flooding. In addition, the interaction of the tree roots and infrastructure caused issues with the road pavement, footpath and guttering as well as impacting residential buildings. The aged trees showed signs of instability with increased risks of the trees falling.

As a result we embarked on a long process of community consultation and engagement to develop a renewal plan to improve stormwater drainage as well as creating an appealing, well-functioning streetscape.

Drainage and stormwater issuesThe existing street trees were removed in preparation for civil construction.

Council Street has regularly experienced severe inundation and localised flooding during major storm events. Council Street is at a critical drainage juncture. The Cottage Creek catchment covers large sections of the city from The Junction and The Hill, as well as Merewether and Hamilton.

New drainage infrastructure such as pipes and culverts are designed to better manage stormwater inflows from the Cooks Hill and The Hill catchments and to replace the aged pipes.

A major component of this is the installation of new culverts between July 2019 and late 2020.

The drainage upgrades are the primary reason for undertaking the project.

Street tree removal and replantingtree roots in Council street

Tree roots created issues with stormwater drainage, parking and trip hazards for pedestrians. Many of the trees had become increasingly unstable due to decay and poorly developed root systems. As well as having significant impact on infrastructure and preventing the management of water inflows these trees were at risk of falling onto properties.

Following extensive consultation and planning the street trees in Council Street were removed in early 2018.

19 new street trees will be planted as part of the Council Street renewal project. A native species selection has been used including Watergums, Brushboxes and Illawarra Flame Trees. Planting is complete in the Bruce Street to Glovers Lane section, and the remainder of planting will occur in late 2020 and early 2021.

Traffic flow and road safety

Community feedback in 2015 indicated traffic management was a high priority for Cooks Hill residents. In response, Council Street traffic management was investigated as part of the stormwater drainage renewal project.

Following public consultation it was resolved to provide for one way traffic from Darby Street to Bruce Street. This option includes the removal of a mid-block in Council Street and was identified as the safest outcome for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

Analysis by an independent traffic consultant found the introduction of one-way traffic will be well within the acceptable traffic volumes for a local residential street.

The change in traffic flow to one way west will be implemented together with a separated bike lane, reverse angled parking on the north side of Council Street and parallel parking on the southern side.

The traffic arrangements will improve safety by discouraging illegal U-turns being made at the Darby Street and Council Street intersection and significantly reducing the street crossing distances for pedestrians.

Stay informed

Our staff are committed to keeping the community informed of plans and progress of the Council Street renewal project.

This has included multiple community meetings, consultation and public exhibition on key aspects of the project.

More information is available in the following documents:
View the community information session summary - 25 January 2018 (pdf)
Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

Council Street, new drainage prior to installation
Council Street, viewed from Bruce Street, including completed works