For immediate release: Friday 16 June 2017
East Gippsland Shire Council’s streetscape upgrade in Nicholson Street, Orbost is moving ahead at a steady pace following minor delays due to poor weather and the need for additional road work approvals.
Mayor Cr Joe Rettino says the Orbost community will see real progress from now on.
“Despite the initial delays, which have now been worked through, I am confident that we will achieve a fabulous outcome for the benefit of the whole town through this $695,000 investment,” Cr Rettino said.
“The works are designed to get people going to the town centre to park and then walk to all the businesses they want to visit. This model of streetscape and the improved footpaths will encourage passing trade along Nicholson Street, and is based on a model of getting people to stop, stay and spend,” Cr Rettino said.
The new streetscape will create a more pedestrian-friendly environment by creating safe pedestrian crossing points as well as address footpath hazards.
Following the upgrade, Orbost’s main street will have a wide and even footpath that will encourage shoppers to park and walk around the central business district.
Public seating along the street will be replaced and refreshed so customers can stop and linger in the street.
“Council staff have been in regular discussion with individual traders and though there have been a couple of individual concerns about removal of parking, there is still overwhelming support for the works which will greatly improve and refresh the streetscape,” Cr Rettino said.
Many of the street’s trees will be replaced as they were assessed to be in poor health.
The types of trees to be featured in the street was one of the many aspects that formed council’s community consultation on the project.
Feedback indicated the community wanted shade trees that were not deciduous; which was taken into consideration when selecting the species to use in the street.
The works are being staged section by section in order to minimise disruption to businesses and the wider community.
This means all concreting, street furniture and landscaping will be completed in one area before work moves to the next section.
Recent works have included demolition of the pavement, new sections of kerb and preparation for the foundations of the first sections of the retaining walls.
The project will include concrete pavement, tree and garden bed installation and street furniture including banner poles.
“I understand traders are receiving weekly updates on the progress of the project and what works are scheduled for the following week, so that they can plan around this and also notify the contractor of any concerns about the works and the interaction with their business,” Cr Rettino said.
“If any businesses are not receiving these regular updates they can contact council to be included in the distribution list.”
Works along the western side of Nicholson Street are expected to be completed by the end of October, in time for the busy tourism period.
In addition to this work, the contractors are also installing a new pathway in Forest Park, linking the Orbost Exhibition Centre and Slab Hut to the nearby public toilets.
This will provide safe access to public toilets for the many visitors who stop at the Forest Park precinct and want to access both toilets and either the Slab Hut or exhibition centre.