Coogee Bay Road upgrade

Making Coogee Bay Road a place for people

Artist impression of Coogee Bay Road streetscape upgrade

Project overview

Randwick City Council is improving the Coogee town centre along Coogee Bay Road between Arden Street and Brook Street by removing overhead powerlines, widening footpaths and installing new pavers, street trees and street furniture.

We are making Coogee Bay Road a place for people with more space and nicer areas to gather and interact. We are strengthening and supporting local businesses by making the area more attractive and inviting for shoppers and tourists.

Improving Coogee Bay Road is an important priority for many members of the community. Coogee Bay Road will remain a two-way street with free onstreet parking on both sides of the street.


The first stage of construction took place from September to December 2018 with work ceasing over the summer period. The remaining work is taking place from March to December 2019.

September to December 2018

Stage 1 works on south side of Coogee Bay Road, from Arden Street to Vicar Street and Arden St outside Coogee Bay Hotel.

  • 10 Sep 2018 - Site preparation works
  • 17 Sep 2018 - Daytime works commence
  • 23 Sep - 4 Oct - Night works from 9pm to 5am (loud noise eg saw cutting and jack hammering will cease at 11pm). There will be no works during public holidays

March to December 2019

  • Stage 2 – Vicar Street intersection – March 2019 to May 2019
  • Stage 3 – Coogee Bay Rd (south) between Vicar St intersection and Brook St – April 2019 to June 2019
  • Stage 4 – Coogee Bay Rd (north) between Arden St to opposite Vicar St intersection – May 2019 to July 2019
  • Stage 5 – Coogee Bay Rd (north) opposite Vicar St intersection – June 2019 to August 2019
  • Stage 6 – Coogee Bay Rd (north) opposite Vicar St intersection to Brook St – July 2019 to September 2019
  • Stage 7 – Arden St (west) from Coogee Bay Rd to Alfreda St – September 2019 to December 2019

Feb / March 2020

  • Ausgrid works to remove remaining power poles and overhead lines and switch power underground. Further notification will be provided prior to works commencing.


  • wider footpaths
  • supporting local businesses
  • more space for people
  • new street trees and paving
  • underground power
  • more outdoor dining
  • improved public safety

Community consultation

In December 2013 Council resolved to conduct a community consultation to consider undergrounding powerlines and upgrading the footpaths at the same time.

In 2014, Council conducted a community consultation on a number of issues relating to Coogee including the upgrade.

The consultation received a good rate of response with 1,901 completed surveys including 1,787 responses from Coogee residents, ratepayers and business owners.

The results found:

  • Strong support for upgrading and improving Coogee Bay Road with 76% saying it’s important or very important.
  • The most important issues to consider when upgrading Coogee Bay Road are safety (86%), improved management of commercial waste bins (78%), outdoor dining (69%) and attractive shop fronts (68%).
  • Respondents were in favour of widening footpaths with 72% preferring to widen one or both sides of Coogee Bay Road

Since this consultation, the design of the road upgrade has been progressed and consulted with local businesses. The design work has taken some time due to the complexity of the process to underground power and to liaise with individual businesses.

Communications material

Randwick City Council is producing a range of information material to inform local residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors about the project.

This material includes posters, flyers, drink coasters, sign boards, table toppers and large display boards.

This material will be available for download on this web page or alternatively if you'd like hard copies for your shop or business please contact Council's Manager Communication Mr Joshua Hay on 90936820 or email

Final stage - undergrounding of powerlines

The final stage of the Coogee Bay Road upgrade is moving forward and we are working with Ausgrid to underground the powerlines along the town centre.

To do this, three power outages will be needed. The first will take place on Monday 2 March, 2020, from 9pm - 6am the next morning.  During this outage, our contractors (CA&I) will be removing three Ausgrid poles and placing two new smart poles adjacent to the intersection of Vicar Street and Coogee Bay Road.

Ausgrid have also advised that two further outages will be necessary to complete the undergrounding of powerlines. These are currently scheduled for:

  • Tuesday 28 April
  • Monday 11 May

These final two outages will include the removal of overhead lines and old telegraph poles as well as commissioning the underground electrical network for the remaining street on Coogee Bay Road (from Vicar to Brook Street).

Following these outages, Council will finish the remaining works, which include:

  • Installation of Smart Poles and traffic control signals from Vicar Street to Brook street
  • Minor civil works (kerb, gutter and paving), near where the final smart poles will be installed

More information

Notification correspondence

Media announcements

General information

Contact information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why aren’t the footpaths wider to accommodate pedestrians?

Widening the footpaths is an important part of the project. This is being achieved by narrowing the traffic lane widths which provides for an additional 1.2metres of footpath width.

Accommodating all user types and forms of movement within the street, including motorists, parking and pedestrians has been a challenge within the design.

The main objective of the design is to take a ‘pedestrian approach’ and balance all user types. Factors that determined the framework for the design included;

  • Observing the need to retain the existing east and west bound bus lanes through Coogee Bay Rd
  • Retain kerb side parking to provide parking for local business and accommodate their trade turnover
  • Observe minimum Australian Standards for traffic lanes and parking widths

This allowed Council to provide an additional 1.2 metres of footpath which it has catered towards the two main outdoor dining areas in the street between Arden St and Vicar St on the north side of the street and between Vicar St and Brook St on the south side of the street. This has resulted in the need to change the angle of the road centre line through the Vicar St intersection, which has also provided a form of traffic calming in slowing traffic as motorists navigate the widened footpaths at this intersection.

Did Council consider a one way street option for the refurbishment of Coogee Bay Rd?

Council contemplated many layout options with consideration of current users and compliance with Australian Standards. A one way street option was one of these options.

The factors that made this option unfeasible included:

  • The design needed to accommodate east and west bound bus lanes
  • Removing any lanes through Coogee Bay Rd would impact traffic movement by relocating traffic into adjacent residential streets

As noted in point 1, the design also needed to accommodate parking for local businesses on both sides of the street. Parallel parking on each side of the street with minimum travel and parking lane widths was the best way to balance the needs and wants of various user the types within the street.

Why have Callery Pears been selected as the street tree?

Council has selected a Pyrus calleyrana 'Capital' after short listing a number of native and exotic trees. The decision was refined through consultation with an Arborist, Nurseries and Horticulturists.

The Pyrus or Callery Pear is an exotic from China. It has been selected due to its hardiness and resilience in an urban environment. The other criteria in the species selection were:

  • Need for a medium sized tree
  • A deciduous tree which will allow the north sun to penetrate into the outdoor dining areas in the winter
  • Ability to grow with limited soil nutrients
  • Resilience to a saline environment
  • Low maintenance
  • A conical canopy shape with consideration to existing awnings and passing trucks and buses

More importantly Council was after a species that would have a high chance of growing progressively and evenly as a group of 12 trees, to create an effective ‘avenue’ through the street. There are a number of native trees that can be great street trees, but unfortunately none fit this criteria.

Furthermore, there are a number of Pyrus or Callery Pear sub species. There may be confusion about the Pyrus sub species ‘Bradford Pear’, which is considered in natural areas as an invasive species.

Will parking spaces on Coogee Bay Rd change as a result of the streetscape upgrade?

Council is mindful of the need to retain parking on Coogee Bay Rd. Council has maintained a similar lineal amount of parking space within the scope of works, but has formalised the parking spaces to enable more efficient parking. The ability to actually determine a number difference between the existing situation and the proposed is difficult to exactly determine with existing loading zones and taxi ranks and an informal parking arrangement, as opposed to the proposal of formalised parking.

The refurbishment of Coogee Bay Rd, presents an opportunity to revisit the parking zones and times within the street. Council’s Integrated Transport Officers will be conducting a business consultation in the coming year to understand parking needs before revising parking types and times.

Why is Council starting the works in September 2018?

The streetscape upgrade is a 12-month project. Council has committed to not undertake any works over the summer period December to February.

Council has given thorough consideration of construction timing and programming. The works are starting on Coogee Bay Road and Arden Street out the front of the Coogee Bay Hotel in September 2018 and stopping in December 2018 for the summer. T he rationale behind the commencement of these works in mid-September through to December are:

  • Regardless of when works commence, construction will run adjacent to a summer period in the coming two years. Unfortunately this is the nature of large scale infrastructure works. Council is working to  mitigate this disruption as much as possible.
  • Should the commencement of the works start in March next year, there is a high chance by the time summer arrives in 2019 when the contractor needs to leave site for the summer months, works will be half complete up to the Vicar St intersection, which is the most complex area of works and there is a likelihood of unresolved works such as under grounding of power, new kerb and footways will not be completed leaving the space in an unsatisfactory condition for businesses and pedestrians.
  • The contractor, CA-I will have a Liaison Officer on site during works who will regularly communicate with businesses about works. Council’s Project Manager will also regularly be on site and will be contactable.
  • And finally, the proposed area where works will commence out the front of the Coogee Bay Hotel, is the least pedestrianised space and is also the least complex regarding demolition and construction.

To give context and explain the nature of the works throughout the entire site, there is:

  • a large network of underground services,
  • 188 service lids,
  • electrical works required to each shop,
  • undergrounding of powerlines,
  • replacement and widening of kerb and gutter,
  • the requirement to address door entries and footpath falls,
  • demolition of concrete footpaths that have varied thickness and replacement with a new pavement.

The initial works proposed commencing in September this year, have two service lids, one underground service line and the removal of brick pavers on a sand bed, as well as installation of new pavers.

These works will be complete by December 2018. All other works within the scope of the project will recommence in March 2019.

Can outdoor dining areas be increased?

The Coogee Bay Rd Urban Improvements project will deliver wider footpaths along sections of Coogee Bay Rd. This this will provide potential for additional footway dining in the two areas that are being widened within the scope of works.

If a business operates a footway dining area in an affected area of Coogee Bay Rd, they may seek consent from Council to increase the size of the footway dining area, if the parameters around allowable space including the 2.5 metre pedestrian zone are observed.

To increase the size of a footway dining area, the business will need to:

  1. Complete a Footway Dining application form and submit to Council with the required plans and details. Note: If a business does not meet the criteria in the compliance checklist at the end of form, they can speak to Council’s duty planner as they may be required to lodge a development application.
  2. Lodge an Occupation of Footway Agreement application form.

Council resolved at its meeting on 28 August 2018 to waive outdoor dining fees for businesses during the construction period (including the three-month shut-down over summer). Council will also waive application fees for businesses lodging new applications to extend their outdoor dining areas to take advantage of the wider footpaths.

What is going to happen with the existing commercial waste bins that get left for long periods on the street?

The issue regarding commercial waste bins on Coogee Bay Rd is a long standing matter that relates to the commercial waste collection from businesses.

Coogee Bay Road does not have a back lane for commercial waste collection.  Therefore, businesses leave their bins on Coogee Bay Rd for collection.  Bins are placed on the footpath the night before collection.  However, due to the large number of restaurants, there are some restaurants that do not open until later in the morning or early evening and therefore the bins remain on the footpath until collected.

Commercial businesses are free to enter into an agreement with any waste collection contractor and are not obliged to use Council’s services.  The numerous contractors that undertake collection for businesses along Coogee Bay Road have different schedules and ways in which they provide the service.

Council has been and will continue to discuss this issue with businesses to reach a suitable resolution.

How is the new underground power connected to each of the buildings and who pays?

Council will run the new power supply in a small conduit from the ground to the point where the existing overhead power currently connects to the building.  This point is typically high on the façade near the eaves.  The cost of this electrical reconnection is borne by Council. It is worth noting that this process does not require electrical works to be undertaken inside the building.

Has Council considered how to improve the building facades after the works are done to really improve the overall street?

Council is supportive of property owners improving their facades to maximise the impact of the streetscape upgrade. We will work cooperatively with local businesses and the Coogee Chamber to encourage property owners to enhance and upgrade their buildings.

How can I get more information about the detailed design?

If you would like to know more about the detail of the design including information about the existing condition of the site, urban design principles of the project, proposed visualisations, typical cross sections and information about proposed street elements, you can download the Design Development Drawings PDF, 13590.76 KB.

Why is the compound located on Alfreda St?

The decision to locate the compound on the corner of Brook Street and Alfreda Street is based upon specific site and project constraints. The corner of Alfreda Street and Brook Street is in close proximity to the project, which allows for faster and less intrusive connection to the project site. Other sites considered did not offer the same conveniences. In particular Arden Street is a road heavily used by the State Transit Authority, which would have introduced new difficulties. The location of the compound will remain located on the corner of Alfreda St for the duration of the project.

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