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Owners of businesses between Shannon and Brandon Sts spoken to by the Otago Daily Times said they had received a letter from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) announcing that work on the upgrade, which would include a new roundabout, the replacement of angle parking with parallel parking, one new pedestrian crossing being created with another being upgraded, would begin in October this year and be completed by April 2011. No work would be done between December 20 and January 14.
However, retailers in the block said the letter lacked detail, such as a schedule of when work would be done or a plan that showed what the area would look like once it had been completed.
Some were also concerned that their business would be disrupted in the lead-up to Christmas and that fewer shoppers would be able to park directly outside premises once angle parking had been replaced by parallel parking.
NZTA Central Otago area manager John Jarvis said a plan of the proposed works had been prepared and was available to be viewed at the agency's network consultant, Opus Alexandra, at 69 Tarbert St. A schedule of work would not be available until after a contractor for the work had been appointed, Mr Jarvis said.
The loss of parking that resulted from angle parks being replaced by parallel parks would be made up for by the creation of additional parking once trees and bulbous paving in the block had been removed, he said.
While Mr Jarvis was confident the work on the $1.4 million upgrade would be completed within this timeframe, not all of the funding for it was guaranteed.
"The project involves a significant amount of work and some of the funding is yet to be confirmed. It is possible some of the work may have to be deferred - but I'd hope not. In the worst case scenario, the roundabout may have to be delayed."
Main street changes
• Roundabout to be built at intersection of Centennial Ave, Clutha and Killarney Sts.
• Centennial Ave resurfacing from intersection of State Highways 8 and 85 to new roundabout.
• Dedicated cycle lanes over full length of upgrade.
• Angle parking on Centennial Ave between Shannon and Brandon Sts.
• Central pedestrian refuge to be installed on Centennial Ave pedestrian crossing between Shannon and Brandon Sts.
• Work to begin in October 2010 and be finished by April 2011
• Project to cost $1.4 million.