Bass Coast Local News:
All Systems Go For Thompson Avenue
The first phase of the Cowes Tourism Precinct redevelopment, the Thompson Avenue upgrade, is almost complete...
By Bass Coast Shire Council - 4th October 2001 - Back to News
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The first phase of the Cowes Tourism Precinct redevelopment, the Thompson Avenue upgrade, is almost complete. The bulk of the project is finished, with a few minor works being undertaken in the next couple of weeks.
"There is no doubt that the response from traders and public alike in the final phases of the project has been positive," said Cr Miranda Sage, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire Council.
"While there has been some minor inconvenience to shoppers, traders and visitors during the work, the long term benefits of an improved streetscape to all users into the future will make it worthwhile," she said.
The redevelopment was completed in stages from December 2000 to ensure minimal disruption. Works have included:
- Total reconstruction of footpaths, kerb and channel and the roundabout at the corner of Chapel Street and Thompson Avenue
- Recreation of the historic cypress avenue
- Construction of new car parking
- Upgrading of underground drainage
- Installation of new water mains and power and telecommunications infrastructure
- New litter and recycling bins
- New seating and other street furniture
- Feature landscaping
- Upgrading of street lighting
- New signage
"The redevelopment has really opened up the streetscape of Thompson Avenue, making it a functional, welcoming and aesthetically appealing area," said Cr Sage.
Work on the final aspects of the redevelopment have been scaled down during the school holidays, but landscaping by Councilís Parks and Gardens staff is expected to be mostly completed by the Grand Prix.
Councilís contractor is waiting for manufacturer supplies before installing additional lighting and handrails as well as some of the new seating and rubbish and recycling bins.
Cr Sage explained that parents with prams, elderly people and people with disabilities will have easier access to the main shopping precinct now that the works are complete.
"We have removed the planter boxes from the middle of the footpaths that impaired access for people with mobility difficulties, including parents with prams," said Cr Sage. "We are also replacing the seating that was inaccessible for elderly or the disabled."
Councilís Infrastructure Design Manager has designed new seating that is accessible to people with disabilities, including people in wheelchairs. Additional new seating will be installed shortly.
Tactile markers, which are dimpled bricks that are a different colour to the surrounding surface, have been used in the redevelopment to assist people with visual impairments. The markers have been used on the footpath to identify potential hazards such as laneways where vehicles cross the footpath.
Council has also installed ramps where the footpath is very steep to provide alternative access for people with disabilities and the elderly.
The total cost of the Thompson Avenue Redevelopment Project is $1.2 million. Council has contributed $500,000 and local property owners have contributed $150,000. The State Government has contributed the remaining $550,000.
"Council would like to thank local traders and members of the public for their cooperation, patience and understanding during the construction project," said Cr Sage. "We would also like to thank the businesses and agencies that worked in partnership with us to complete the project including Westernport Water and South Gippsland Quarries Pty Ltd."
"Council staff who have worked on the project are also to be thanked for their dedication and effort," said Cr Sage. "Staff on the project have been committed to working in partnership with all the different stakeholders, with terrific results."
Cr Sage said that she believed the upcoming Grand Prix would be a great time to test the areaís amenity, safety and appeal as thousands of visitors put the redevelopment to the test.
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