River St upgrade short of cash
WORK to finish the long-awaited upgrade of River St in Ballina's CBD is scheduled to start in February.
Ballina Shire Council has already allocated $5.2 million for the $7 million project and civil services group manager John Truman yesterday told a meeting of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry that they were working to secure the remaining money.
"We are slightly short of funds at the moment," he said.
"But we are going to start work and we will keep looking at how we are going to fully fund it."
Work to build roundabouts on Moon and Cherry streets will be the first part of the project, with costs estimated at $1.3 million and $1.48 million.
This will be followed by the Martin and Grant streets roundabouts.
The final part of the River St upgrade will be the beautification of the remaining two segments - Martin St to Cherry St and Grant St to Moon St with each section costing about $1.6 million.
It is expected work on the final section of the project will start in the 2013/14 financial year.
Mr Truman said the council would work with businesses to ensure there was minimal disruption.
"The timeframe is long because we will be stopping work during peak trading periods such as Easter and Christmas," Mr Truman said.
"We could do it faster but we don't want to disrupt trade.
"Roadworks will be done during the day.
"Footpaths and paving will be done at night and they will be open by the next morning.
"Those businesses that will beaffected by work will know what is happening well in advance.
"We think we've got a pretty good system now, and we've had some good feedback from the businesses in Alstonville.
"The businesses up there have been very positive."
The work to beautify River St is expected to help bring people into the CBD once the Ballina bypass is open to traffic.