New lookout ready by Christmas
QUEENSLAND Urban Utilities has refused to reveal how much will be spent on a new viewing platform on the Denmark Hill water tower.
The popular lookout was controversially closed to the public last June following repeated incidents where people threatened to commit suicide by jumping.
Work has started on an upgraded lookout structure with additional safety features, designed to reduce the high number of police callouts to the tower to handle suicide threats.
In a leaflet distributed to nearby residents prior to construction, QUU said the changes would provide a "safe and reliable structure from which to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area".
"Works include the construction of a steel raised platform on the reservoir roof.
"Security fencing on the platform and around the staircase will also be constructed to provide additional safety to people accessing the platform."
The upgrades came on the back of an independent engineering report conducted for QUU earlier this year.
Chief executive Ian Maynard said QUU remained committed to reopening the lookout to the public on the condition that appropriate safety upgrades could be carried out first.
The engineering report also recommended the need to confirm the structural integrity of the reservoir rooftop before proceeding with the work.
The lookout is popular due to the excellent vantage point it provides for those wanting to see the Great Dividing Range, Little Liverpool Range, Mt Coot-tha and the other mountains that line the Brisbane Valley.
Over the years it has also proven a perfect spot to capture images of thunder storms approaching from the south-west.
Local area councillor Andrew Antoniolli said it would have been a tragedy for the city to lose such a landmark.
"It's probably the best view of Ipswich," Cr Antoniolli said.
"I know lots of people have been missing the opportunity to go up there.
"It is good news that it will reopen soon and I think QUU has taken a very reasoned approach to this, given there was a real need to do something to improve safety."
QUU said the new platform should be complete by December 20, weather permitting, with work to be carried out 7am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 4pm Saturdays and 9am to 1pm Sundays.
Six spaces in the adjacent car park - mostly used by hospital staff and visitors - will be lost during the construction period.
A small section of the pedestrian walkway will also be closed for three days to make way for a crane.
Further information and updates on the work is available from QUU and Ipswich City Council.