A revised Cox Street Front Door project will go ahead this year, after Council resolved at this week’s February meeting to complete works on the east-side of Cox Street and finalise landscaping and footpath works at a later stage.
The project, which is jointly funded by Council and the State Government, has an overall budget of $4.6M. In October 2019, Council resolved to defer the project and seek further funding after all tenders received significantly exceeded the allocated budget.
Tenders were advertised in May 2019 and five submissions were received ranging from $8.8M to $14M in price, significantly exceeding the allocated budget for the project. Council officers have since sought further financial assistance from other government agencies but this has been unsuccessful.
Southern Grampians Shire Mayor Cr Bruach Colliton said Council considered a range of options to move forward with the project.
“This project is vitally important for the region and Council remains committed to creating an entrance to the Hamilton CBD that increases civic pride for locals in their town and increases business investment and tourism opportunities in Hamilton.
“Our options included borrowing the remaining money to complete the full project, which was not a burden we wanted to put back onto the rate payer; partially completing the project with the funds we have; or shelving the project altogether, which we knew wasn’t really an option.
“Completing the works to the east-side of Cox Street allows us to meet the project objectives of opening retail space and activating economic development. It will allow us to create new jobs, address access and safety issues and improve community amenity at the major entrance into Hamilton” Cr Colliton said.
Works to be completed under the revised project scope include a median strip, new road pavement on only east-side, new kerb and channel, a three metre wide footpath, pocket parks and new roundabouts. Existing power lines and a new Telstra line will also be undergrounded along the east-side.
Council resolved to include the footpath replacement from Lonsdale Street to Gray Street and the west-side landscaping works in the 2021-2022 Budget.
“This project builds on the significant strategic planning and urban design initiatives prepared for Hamilton as part of the Hamilton Masterplan adopted in 2011 and we are so pleased to be finally getting things moving forward,” Cr Colliton concluded.