Wollongong City Council is charging ahead with its plan to create a mountain bike playground in the hills between Cringila and Berkeley, calling on contractors to build the first stage.
Tender documents have called for companies to come forward with their plans to design and construct 11.5km of trails for beginner to intermediate riders and 3.1 km of walking trails through the almost 40-hectare site off Jarvie Road.
The master plan for the Cringila Hills precinct was signed off by councillors in March. Then, the council said the first stage of the bike park facilities would cost at least $1.5 million.
When completed, the scenic but underused site will become a tourist and recreational attraction, which will also have walking trails, picnic areas and a new children's playground, as well as a skill park and pump track for bike riders.
Work on the trails project is due to begin in January, and all going to plan, will be complete by July, the council specifications said.
In tender documents, the council has requested that the trails be "a fun and free flowing network" with multiple long-distance riding loops and parts of the network designed to host cross country races.
The successful company will also have to design and construct the trails with consideration to the "cultural, social and environmental value" of the area, protecting pockets of lowland dry-subtropical rainforest and minimising erosion.
The design of the trails will need to integrate trail junctions, with clear trail directions and difficulty grade signage so that riders can assess the trail difficulty and plan their route based on their skill level.
There will be 10 water crossings, made with rock-paving, raised boardwalks or reinforced plastic, timber and steel mesh bridges.
The existing walking network will be improved to ensure safety for pedestrians by clearing overgrown vegetation, as well as improvements to the track width and the walking trail surface.
The Cringila Hills plan is one of several cycling facilities under development in Wollongong, as the city prepares to host the UCI road cycling world championships in 2022.
Tenders close on October 8.
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