Completion of the streetscape upgrade in Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale will be delayed, East Gippsland Shire Council has been advised by its contractor.
Council has been advised the project is expected to be finished by the end of August, weather permitting. The project was originally scheduled to be finished by the end of June.
The delay is a result of delivering the work in small segments, done to ensure that all businesses could continue to trade during the works.
While this has slowed progress, it has ensured that all doorways have been kept at least half open at all times.
The majority of work on the northern side of the street is complete, including levelling the footpath. Work will now focus on the south side where new footpath will be laid, stormwater improvements made, new garden beds, bollards, rubbish bins and plantings installed.
This will be followed by work on the roadway itself, to create garden beds and pedestrian crossings.
Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the $1.167 million East Gippsland Shire Council-funded project is designed to improve pedestrian access and provide the opportunity for a vibrant outdoor culture.
“The streetscape works involve upgrading footpaths, including levelling the footpath on the north side of the street, which had accessibility issues due to the angle.
“Upgraded crossing points at the roundabout in Service Street, new garden plantings, bollards, new tree planting, seats and lighting are also part of the project design,” Cr O’Connell said.
“It is important to note the street has not be closed during the works and access to businesses has been maintained.”
Acting General Manager Assets and Environment Fiona Weigall said the Nicholson Street project was one part of the Bairnsdale CBD Master Plan, known as Re-imagining Bairnsdale.
“After widespread consultation, the Re-imagining Bairnsdale master plan was finalised in 2013. It is a 10-year plan and this Nicholson Street upgrade is part of delivering that plan,” Ms Weigall said.
“Re-imaging Bairnsdale projects already completed include new toilets in the Main Street Gardens, the Nicholson Street Mall upgrade, and improvements to Service Street including the roundabout at the intersection with Francis Street.
“One of the earliest projects was removing two cut-through roads from the eastern end of Main Street Gardens to give the space back to pedestrians.
“Livening up the CBD laneways is also part of Re-imagining Bairnsdale, so the great student artwork behind Woolworths is also an element of Re-imagining Bairnsdale – while also creating a deterrent for graffiti.”
Key objectives of Re-imagining Bairnsdale are to improve vehicle, pedestrian and cycle movements.
“Bairnsdale has the structural bones to make it a walkable, cyclable city.
“Better footpaths and a walkable community make life easier for more people, including those who don’t drive, users of wheelchair and mobility scooters, vision-impaired people and seniors.”
The Nicholson Street streetscape upgrade is being undertaken by local company Cranes Asphalting & Bitumen Sealing who also undertook the upgrade of Service Street between Nicholson and Francis streets.
The completed section of Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale.
Work is now being undertaken on the south side of the street.