A $5.7 million upgrade of Copeton Dam's Northern Foreshores, which commenced at the beginning of the year, is progressing well with all major earthworks completed.
The two-year project led by Inverell Shire Council has been supported by the NSW Government. Project manager Tim Russell said completing the 400 metre concrete boat ramp was the first milestone.
"The boat ramp is 12 metres wide and a big deal for all the fishermen. We think it's the longest boat ramp in the world, we certainly couldn't find any longer. We have a floating pontoon in construction which will go on the boat ramp. It will move as the dam rises and falls," he said.
Around 1.5 kilometres of shared concrete footpaths will take future visitors to different locations throughout the Northern Foreshores and will not cross any major roads for safety of young and old who will utilise them.
Earthworks to prepare the concrete footpaths has been completed, along with earthworks for the communal hall- which has gone out for tender. Council is due to make a decision on the successful tender in the coming weeks, with a few locals submitting quotes, Mr Russell said.
Two viewing platforms will be constructed by local company BuildMe Co, after winning the tender. Steel structure should be in place by mid-September.
"One platform will be located on the west facing the dam wall and the other will be a southern platform with a good view up the river. That one will be suspended, when the dam is 100 per cent full, 12 metres out in the water. We have a monument that was placed at Auburn Vale in 1972 when the dam was completed with all the names of those buried at Copeton Cemetery.
"We will be placing it on the southern viewing platform to allow people who come and visit to show their kids where the cemetery is located underwater. The platform gives a good visual of the location," he said.
Plaques will also be crafted to showcase the original location of Copeton village. The children's playground has been ordered, due to be installed in October. The tender for the splash park is also out for tender.
Mr Russell said it was important the splash park blends in with the scenery and lasts the test of time. The re-relocatable manager's residence should arrive in early September, delivered by Uniplan Group in Armidale.
Uniplan will also produce a new, modern amenities block with disability access and facilities. The old shower block will be converted into a laundry.