JUNCTION Court has been removed.
The most significant public construction project to occur in the CBD in many years is under way.
Ultimately the raised lawn, paving, vegetation and the awning, affectionately named the flying nun’s hat, will be replaced by a one-way eastbound road between Kinghorne Street and O’Connell Lane.
The design should allow for the easy closure of Junction Court for full pedestrian access during special events.
Stage one, involving the demolition and removal of Junction Court and the installation of a flat patterned concrete space, tree plantings, a planter box, changes to lighting and bollards, is expected to take about four weeks.
Shoalhaven City Council’s works and services manager Paul Collins said he hoped to have stage one complete and open to the public by December.
“People will notice that there is a lot of activity and change which is the nature of the work when you are in demolition stage.
“It will, however, take some time to build that back up and to get the pavement in place.
“It can be a bit fiddlier, setting levels and preparing the companion pavement before moving onto the concreting.
“We want to be out of it before the pre-Christmas, elevated shopping pattern in December.
“The idea is to get it open, to get it useable as a pedestrian area. However throughout stage one access is still available adjacent to the site between the fenced off area and the shops on the northern side,” he said.
Mr Collins said as much as possible the components that are being removed would be recycled.
It is expected there will be a break following the completion of stage one.
Traffic management plans and changes to traffic lights at the corner of Junction and Kinghorne streets need RMS approval before work on stage two can begin.
Shoalhaven Mayor Paul Green said he was pleased to see works beginning on the project and expected that once completed the refurbishment would provide a vital boost for the CBD.
“The Junction Court upgrade seeks to bring business, shoppers and pedestrians back to this area through the creation of a safe, vibrant place,” Cr Green said.
“Council is looking to minimise disruption to the public throughout this period however the redevelopment of the Junction Court is a major project and there may be some small interruptions to normal operations.”