THE realignment of Wodonga’s Elgin Boulevard is one step closer to getting under way, with a $4.8 million tender approved for the project this week.
Wodonga Council awarded the tender to local contractors Excell Gray Bruni at its meeting on Monday night.
The council’s director of planning and infrastructure Leon Schultz will meet the company today to discuss timelines for the project, which is deemed essential to the city centre’s revitalisation.
Excell Gray Bruni’s tender application came in well under budget — the council had put aside funds of up to $8.8 million.
Mr Schultz said it was anticipated the project would be completed by mid-next year.
“We’re pretty keen to get started on this, which is important to creating what we refer to as the city heart,” he said.
However, it’s likely little work will be done before the end of the year, so as not to cause too much disruption during the Christmas shopping period.
“We don’t want to inconvenience anyone before the Christmas holidays,” Mr Schultz said.
“The discussions we had with the tenderers were with very strict criteria ... including that there would be no disruptions leading up to that period.
“Of course, we will communicate with stakeholders well in advance of any works.”
Mr Schultz said in choosing a local company, it was also “very good for Wodonga”, in terms of the economy and creating jobs.
Excell Gray Bruni was also awarded the $460,736 tender to realign the Lawrence and Havelock streets intersection last month, with the works starting early last week.
At the time, the council said the project needed to be finished before works could begin on Elgin Boulevard.
Mr Schultz said these works should take up to 12 weeks.
He said they were progressing well, thanks to the good weather, and should present few problems for Christmas shoppers.
“They may need to just slip into January (to finish the work), depending on how the weather conditions go, but we hope most of it will be done by the end of the year,” he said.