WORK IN PROGRESS: The view from River St of the work on the redevelopment of McLachlan Park.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The view from River St of the work on the redevelopment of McLachlan Park. Jarrard Potter

River view returns with progress at McLachlan Park

AFTER 43 years of being hidden behind a levy wall, Maclean will soon get back its river views on River St at McLachlan Park.

Construction fences and screens are still in place at the northern end of the park development, but offer a glimpse at the views that will be on offer once the park is completed.

The views are made possible by four purpose- built retractable panels that, once installed, will be left open to give river views, but closed during floods to maintain the continuity of the levy wall.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director Troy Anderson said while there were some early hiccups, work on the redevelopment was progressing well.

"People can't see a lot of what is going on behind the screens, but on the northern end they might be able to get some picture of what it will be like once the work is finished," he said.

Mr Anderson said the four purpose-built retractable panels were currently under construction and should arrive on site by late September.

"Once they are installed we will be able to start work on the car park and landscape features," he said.

Maclean Chamber of Commerce co-president Peter Gordon said it was a historic move to have river views.

"It's the first time since the levy wall was built that you can walk along the footpath and look at the river," he said.

"The river was there all the time and now you can see it, like magic.

"It'll all slowly take shape, and while a lot of people say it's a mess, the council have done quite a bit of work with the section.

"I think people get put off by the machinery and noise and rubble and all they can see is a dirty old work site, but there's no way around it," he said.

To be able to see the river when it's all finished will be great, and it is a reasonably big thing to bring town back to the river."

Mr Gordon said the development was a necessity to make Maclean attractive to potential tourists.

"We have got to have something like this," he said.

"A lot of smaller towns have really done their towns up and made them attractive, and once the new highway goes through we will have to work harder to get tourists into our town, and this is something that will help I believe."