During construction of the Macquarie Street car park near Manning Regional Art Gallery, a surprise heritage site was uncovered.
MidCoast Council crews completed the construction of a car park and opened it up to motorists on Friday, September 14.
And in an unexpected twist during construction, excavators uncovered a residential well beneath the car park surface. The site was cordoned off to allow the well to be dissembled manually.
“We were able to retrieve a number of handmade earthen bricks which are estimated to be over a century old, potentially linked to a home that existed on the block from the late 1800s,” MidCoast Council’s Rhett Pattison said.
“The salvaged bricks have been donated to the Manning Regional Art Gallery, and a stencil used in the cement to mark the well’s location.”
The tired-looking vacant block next to the art gallery has been converted into a 43-space concrete car park. Users can enjoy untimed parking.
“Formalising this area within Taree’s CBD not only provides additional, convenient parking, but it was also a great opportunity to improve the amenity of this busy area,” Rhett Pattison said.
As part of the project, MidCoast Council crews installed subsurface drainage and a bio-filtration system to cleanse stormwater run-off from the site before it enters the Manning River.
“The drainage system filters stormwater through a water garden, a natural technique that removes pollutants, silt and chemicals,” Rhett said. “As well as protecting the quality of our waterways, the gardens are an attractive addition to the new car park facility.”
And in an unexpected twist during construction, excavators uncovered a residential well beneath the carpark surface. The surprise heritage site was cordoned off to allow the well to be dissembled manually.
The art gallery carpark offers 43 marked parking spaces, four of them reserved for disabled parking, and is open for use by the general public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The project has been completed through MidCoast Council’s capital works program, and is part of Council’s commitment to improving infrastructure across the region.
To find out more about roadworks taking place across the MidCoast, or to search for roadworks near you, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/roads