WORK on simplifying one of Wodonga’s busiest intersections could start before the end of the year, but a council manager yesterday promised it would not disrupt Christmas shopping for traders.
Elgin Boulevard, on the western side of High Street, will be realigned north to join its eastern side, formerly Jack Hore Place.
Tenders open today for the work which is part of a $6.8 million project, that also includes $2.1 million for drainage and roadworks near the old Mann’s shopping centre.
The council’s director of planning and infrastructure, Leon Schultz, said tenders would close on September 27 with a successful applicant expected to be chosen at the council meeting in October.
“We would like works to commence before Christmas but we need to stress we won’t be ripping up roads and footpaths before Christmas,” Mr Schultz said.
“We need to keep them as they are in the lead-up to the summer break.
“We recognise the importance of trade to the Wodonga central business district at that time and we will not be disrupting it.”
Mr Schultz expected major work on the intersection to occur from February-March, but declined to give a likely completion date, saying it depended on weather conditions.
He said the council would liaise with businesses along Elgin Boulevard to ensure they were aware of the program once the successful tenderer was awarded.
“We know there will be some queries about where staff and customers can park and we are planning for alternate arrangements for those, as well as ensuring that people far and wide know that Wodonga is open for business while this construction takes place,” Mr Schultz said.
“This is a very exciting project for Wodonga and we plan to hold information sessions at a later date in which the community can come along and learn more about the council’s vision for Wodonga’s heart.”
Mr Schultz declined to speculate on what the former roadway land, next to the Safeway supermarket car park, may be used for once Elgin Boulevard is rerouted.
Under its Junction Place plans, Places Victoria has earmarked the area for commercial or office use.