Traders, city to debate Elgin Boulevard closure

WODONGA Council and the city chamber of commerce will meet today to devise strategies for minimising the effect on traders when the Elgin Boulevard works crank up next month.

The part closure of the High Street-Elgin Boulevard intersection between January and March has upset businesses in the northern end of High Street.

Chamber president Brett Drinnan has told members the decision to close the intersection came as a direct result of feedback from businesses and residents at an information day held last month.

“The information day was open to all businesses and residents and was only attended by approximately 100 participants,” he said.

Excell Gray Bruni will undertake the $4.3 million realignment of Elgin Street for the council.

It includes a whole new intersection across High Street to link the two sides of the boulevard.

This will require closure of the north-bound lane of High Street at the old level crossing site for three months.

A Shop Wodonga program will be run by the council and chamber during the works.

Today’s meeting has been called to generate ideas, programs and campaigns to reduce the impacts of the closure.

“It will aid in keeping the community’s awareness open to the fact that it is business as usual in the CBD and that support for local business is needed now more so than ever,” Mr Drinnan said.

He will present suggestions at the meeting.

“It is imperative that we work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the best outcome during the January to March period, and indeed for the minor interruptions that will periodically occur in the (ensuing) months,” he said.

“We realise that the works will cause disruption to some businesses, especially those close to the planned works, but we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture by the creation of a better CBD that will attract more people to the area by providing better facilities, better access and a better experience.

Mr Drinnan, the Dysons bus lines regional manager, recently replaced Peter Barlow as chamber president.

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