RETAIL pain and community frustration have been the hallmarks of the Jetty Triangle project in Cowes to date.
And the barriers and half-road closure is set to be in place right through the coming school holidays.
But according to the Bass Coast Shire’s Acting General Manager Infrastructure and Environment, Damian Blackford, the project is “progressing well” and will be completed on time for the Island’s 150th celebrations on Melbourne Cup Weekend.
“The project is progressing well, with paving and asphalting works well underway. For community members unaccustomed with seeing sites of major construction works, there is a visual impact however the contractor is working to minimise this as much as possible,” Mr Blackford said.
“Once concrete works have been completed, the progress will increase as cobblestones for the second half of the Piazza are laid, which requires great skill and precision.
“There are some changes to the temporary road closures around The Esplanade. Traffic coming down Thompson Avenue can only turn right at The Esplanade, into a single lane,” he said.
“This was proposed so as not to reduce access to cafes and restaurants by closing the intersection altogether for the Piazza works.
“Council and the contractor have maintained contact and open communications with the surrounding cafes and restaurants throughout the process, many of the restaurants have been closed until Spring and understand that the extreme weather conditions have delayed the works.
The single lane from Thompson Avenue to Bass Avenue is controlled with an automatic traffic light which also allows cars coming the other way to turn left from the Esplanade into Thompson Avenue. This closure will be in place until Monday 24 September, weather permitting.
“Every outdoor construction project includes a number of rainy days where work is put on hold due to the weather and this project is no different. While we have seen a number of rainy days in recent weeks, the project is still running within schedule and budget.”
Asked whether the area will be made more accessible and presentable for the September school holidays, Mr Blackford said the obstructions would come up during the holidays (Sept 1 – Oct 8).
“Road closures are expected to remain in place until Monday, September 24. This is after the school holidays start, but necessary to keep the project on-schedule,” he said.
“Pedestrian access has been maintained throughout the works and access is available through the site along the foreshore and down to the jetty.”
Will it be completed in time for the Centenary of the end of WW1 events on Remembrance Day? If not, what arrangements will be made?
“The long-term project plan has targeted the space to be ready for the street parade and festivities recognising the 150th anniversary of European settlement on Phillip Island, in early November (Melbourne Cup Weekend). The project is currently running to schedule,” he said.
Fears that the mess might still be in place at Christmas have been rejected by the shire.