High Street businesses support not splitting the next part of upgrade in two parts

CENTRAL Wodonga traders have been presented with two options for the final stage of the High Street upgrade from Sesame Lane to the Lawrence Street roundabout.

PUSHING AHEAD: The latest section of High Street being upgraded between South and Bond streets is inching towards completion in April.

PUSHING AHEAD: The latest section of High Street being upgraded between South and Bond streets is inching towards completion in April.

Feedback is being sought on starting the works in August-September, taking a break in December and resuming in mid-January with an anticipated completion in April next year.

The second option under consideration is starting the works in mid-January next year and finishing in May.

But the shorter timeframe would mean a full closure of High Street from Sesame Lane to the roundabout.

Wodonga Council’s planning and infrastructure director Leon Schultz confirmed tenders for the two options had opened with the tender to be awarded at either the May or June council meeting.

“These two options both form part of the tender specification and have been presented to the traders,” he said.

“The council is presently asking for trader feedback on the proposed options.

“The decision on a preferred option will be based on the feedback, the construction program and costings.”

Wodonga Jewellers owner David McWaters said his preference was for works to be done in one hit.

“It’s got to be done and you can’t do much about it,” he said.

“My preference is to get it over and done with.”

High Street newsagent Kieran Mahoney also was supportive of the works starting next year.

“After Christmas is the way to go,” he said.

“The works would be quite detrimental if they done in the lead-up to Christmas.”

Mr Mahoney confirmed the newsagency had closed on Sundays, but he would re-consider opening when road works were finished.

Business Wodonga chairman Graham Jenkin praised council for consulting with traders on the final stage of the works.

The Sesame Lane to Lawrence Street works represent the final stage of the $10 million federal funding package which has also include improvements to Havelock Street, Junction Place and South Street.

“Council is working with the contractors to ensure the project is completed as quickly and safely as possible while ensuring a quality outcome,” Mr Schultz said.