Main street upgrade tenders accepted

Tenders from three different design consultants have been accepted to provide proposals for the Balclutha main street upgrade.

The three chosen tenderers were whittled down from 10 proposals for the $2.6 million upgrade of Balclutha's main street.

Clutha District Council district assets manager Jules Witt said the successful tenderers were MWH/LA4 Partnership, Baxter/SouthRoads Traffic Design Group Partnership, and Boffa Miskell.

The successful tenderers would now put together concept designs and estimates for the upgrade, Mr Witt said.

A working party made up of members of the Balclutha traffic management study reference group and several main street retailers would help to select concept designs before putting them out to the public for consultation.

''Council has chosen three design consultants so that a range of options can be presented for consultation with the public,'' Mr Witt said.

Concept designs were expected to be released for public consultation around the middle of the year.

Through its long-term plan process last year, the council set a total budget of $2.6 million for the project, including $400,000 to install underground power lines in the main business area and $550,000 worth of footpath upgrades.

Exactly what the rest of the upgrade would involve would depend on the proposals received, Mr Witt said. It could potentially include redesigning road layouts, new street furniture and plantings to enhance the area.

Last year, the council consulted on shifting State Highway 1 from the main street to one of the heavy traffic bypasses, on James St and Charlotte St.

The process drew 769 submissions, 95% of which supported the status quo - retaining the two heavy-traffic bypasses and State Highway 1 passing through on Clyde St. Two-thirds of the submissions were from Balclutha residents.

In December Mr Witt said there was now a firm commitment to retain the bypasses, and Clyde St as the state highway route.

- helena.dereus@odt.co.nz