THE plan to revitalise Bridge and Sixth streets has been given the green-light by Murray Bridge council.
Murray Bridge council chief executive officer Peter Bond said the Town Centre Traffic Plan should take three years to complete at a cost of about $7 million with $500,000 currently allocated in the budget for design and $30,000 already set aside for a number of smaller projects to begin early in 2014.
"In January 2014, council will commence the development of designs and constructions drawings for Bridge and Sixth streets," he said.
"As part of this process, further consultation will be undertaken with the community and other key stakeholders.
"The Draft Town Centre Traffic Plan has been developed to address access and movements for all modes of transport within the town centre - all vehicles, public transport, cycling and walking and will be delivered over several years."
Mr Bond said the project aimed to reinforce the connections between the river and the town centre by pulling abstract elements of the waterway up into the main street.
"For Sixth Street, the project aims to reinforce the cultural hub of the town, with the civic buildings and the Regional Art Gallery being a focus," he said.
"The overall goal is to provide an exciting, livable, viable and vibrant destination and centre, activated by people enjoying and using the places and spaces within the streets."
Part of the project which had been canned since being floated at the Imagine 2020 workshops was the design of the main street.
Originally the council hoped to reduce the number of lanes on Bridge Street and introduce angled parking but central business district traders opposed the plan.
Mr Bond said the traders did not want Bridge Street changed to a single lane carriageway because they felt is was a waste of money, time and effort and a large disruption to retail trade.
"After extensive community consultation including workshops and surveys with local business owners, the community and State Government agencies, the Town Centre Traffic Plan specifies that there be no changes to the existing conditions on Bridge Street with regards to number of lanes and parking configuration," he said.
"This single lane (idea) would cause congestion, loading zone problems, emergency vehicle problems and take away from retail sales in the CBD, which would lead to the loss of jobs and closure to retail shops."
Instead improvements suggested by the traders that will be addressed during the redesign stage include heritage lighting, public toilets, street furniture, regular cleaning, longer parking hours and promotion of local events.
Funding to subsidise the majority of the project is expected to come from government grants including $3.3 million dollars of funding already promised by the outgoing Labor Federal Government prior to the last election - if it is still viable.
Mr Bond said prior to the Federal election, $3.3 million in grant funding was announced for the revitalisation of Bridge and Sixth streets under the Regional Economic Diversification Fund.
"Council has recently been in contact with the department responsible for the Regional Economic Diversification Fund to receive an update on any future announcement of the grant," he said.
"Due to the change in Federal Government, they have not reviewed the proposed funding announcements however it is envisaged that an announcement will be made shortly."
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