Main street work begins

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Chamber of Commerce president Melissa d'Ath with committee members Sharyn Carroll and Rachel Yugovich.
Camera IconChamber of Commerce president Melissa d'Ath with committee members Sharyn Carroll and Rachel Yugovich.

Margaret River’s main street redevelopment officially kicks off next week.

Residents and retailers have been warned the project will create significant disruption in coming months, but the results of the finished project will revitalise the Margaret River central business district.

Motorists can expect traffic detours from Monday as the first stage of the project gets started, with Townview Terrace via Georgette Drive and Higgins Street, and Fearn Avenue nominated as alternative routes.

Margaret River Chamber of Commerce president Melissa d’Ath said an intensive seven-month consultation process marked the preparation for Monday’s start.

“We have received mixed feedback from members on how they see the changes to the main street affecting their businesses,” she said.

“We are aware that some of our members are concerned about lost parking bays, but we also have members who welcome a more pedestrian-friendly environment, believing that increased foot traffic will have a positive impact.”

Ms d’Ath also said the chamber would continue to liaise with the Shire and contractors BCP to resolve any disputes which arose during the project.

The $8.68 million redevelopment was expected to take at least 12 months, which included breaks during peak times, with the final southern stage of the project not yet funded.

The planning process has been marked by significant angst from traders and residents concerned at the lack of detail and late changes to road design, as well as uncertainty about parking bays added and removed from the plan.

Project manager Peter Brown asked residents to follow directions from traffic managers during the project.

“Detours will be in place and traffic delays will occur, so please keep this in mind when planning where you need to drive,” he said.

“Pedestrian and bike access will be clearly signposted, and whilst there will be disruptions, we ask for the community’s patience and support as we deliver this key community project.”

School traffic next week would be affected, but crossings would be monitored, he said.

For the latest updates, follow the Times’ Facebook page and the Shire’s page at yoursay.amr shire.wa.gov.au/margaret-river-main-street-development.

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