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Next stop Bair Street

THE official opening of Leongatha’s multimillion dollar heavy vehicle alternate route is a step toward redeveloping Bair Street.

McMillan MP Russell Broadbent declared the bypass open on Friday afternoon.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said construction of the $6.22 million alternate route had long been a priority for South Gippsland.

“These works will see the hundreds of heavy vehicles which currently pass through Leongatha’s central business district each day being able to use the alternate route on Long Street,” he said.

“This will immediately make life more pleasant for local businesses and will be an important safety improvement for drivers and pedestrians in the town centre.”

South Gippsland Shire Council deputy mayor Cr Maxine Kiel said more visitors will be encouraged to sit and have a coffee outside the shops in Bair Street with trucks taken out of the equation.

The Bair Street revitalisation project is on track with the final design draft recently completed.

The early stages of the revitalisation project will include more angle parking and more garden beds to liven up Bair Street and turn it into a town hub.

“We want people to be able to stop and shop here and a pleasant environment may encourage people to fill some of these empty buildings,” Cr Kiel said.

While the design process is still underway, grant funding is still required before council can start construction.

Mr Broadbent acknowledged the changed route may take some getting used to.

“This is the first set of controlled traffic lights in South Gippsland, so this is quite a historic time,” he said.

“It will take some getting used to but it will be major tourist route with great economic advantages.”

VicRoads operations manager Henry Lam said the intersection has increased safety for pedestrians – particularly for school children.

“The traffic lights have made it easier for children to cross. It has taken sometime for people to get used it but we are confident drivers are being careful through the intersection,” he said.

“Removing the trucks from Bair Street will give council the opportunity to redo the streetscape so the people can really enjoy Leongatha.”

Mr Lam said VicRoads worked closely with the council and the community to ensure there was minimal disruption during the construction.

The Federal Government contributed $4.66 million and the Victorian Government $1.55 million toward the $6,220,000 project.

Safety measure: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council deputy mayor Cr Maxine Kiel, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent and VicRoads operations manager Henry Lam said 600 trucks had been removed from Bair Street per day as a result of the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route.

Safety measure: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council deputy mayor Cr Maxine Kiel, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent and VicRoads operations manager Henry Lam said 600 trucks had been removed from Bair Street per day as a result of the Leongatha heavy vehicle alternate route.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=20116

Posted by on Nov 29 2016. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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