The Berri Barmera Council will spend an additional $250,000 to retrofit its Berri riverfront precinct, following several years of community backlash around the original project design.

Key points:

  • Berri’s riverfront precinct was initially opened in 2018
  • There was a community backlash because the narrow road was deemed difficult to navigate
  • Parts of Riverview Drive will be realigned and several bollards will be removed

More than $1.5 million was spent by the council on the precinct upgrade when it opened in 2018, but local residents were quick to express their frustration at the development, which included an S-Bend along Riverview Drive that was deemed too narrow for larger vehicles and caravans to navigate.

“We did go out to consultation before the project even commenced, but it wasn’t until it was completed that the community certainly let the council know that they were dissatisfied with the design,” council CEO Karyn Burton said.

A second round of community consultation, with 54 submissions, was held in 2019 to determine what changes the public deemed necessary, and Ms Burton said 49 of the suggestions were taken on board in the retrofit redesign.

Solutions stalled

The project’s fix was further delayed by the tender process, when council received no tenders in the first round, and it was required to go out again, before securing a contractor.

“Then the suggestion was made about doing a 3D fly-through simulation to help the community actually visualise what changes would be made,” Ms Burton said.


A third round of community consultation received 88 submissions, 61 of which were in favour of proceeding with the retrofit depicted in the 3D modelling.

This prompted a unanimous vote from the council’s elected members on Wednesday night to move ahead with the redesign plans, at an additional cost of about $250,000.

The new works, expected to start in May or June, will focus on Riverview Drive, and will remove several bollards, improve the road’s curve alignment near Ahern Street, realign the road to improve safety and re-grade the brick paved footpath and car parks.

Several of these bollards will be removed in the retrofit.(ABC Riverland: Anita Ward)

“We will possibly have to allocate some more funds to it, so we will straddle the financial year and allocate the remaining funds that we require into the next financial year,” Ms Burton said.

Speed limit review still to come

A motion without notice introduced by Deputy Mayor Ella Winnall at Wednesday night’s meeting was carried to ensure that any proposed speed limit reduction for Riverview Drive would be reviewed after the completion of the retrofit works.

Ms Burton said the speed limit was ultimately a decision for the state’s Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

“Council will have a look and make a submission to the department with our recommendations of what the traffic speed limit should be and we will have to wait to see what they say,” she said.