Murray Bridge's main street will be 'refreshed' in 2018

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

Murray Bridge's main street will be "refreshed" in 2018, not completely redesigned.

After years of debate about whether Bridge Street should be narrowed to a single lane each way, and headaches caused by works elsewhere in the business district, councillors voted for a modest upgrade instead of more expensive options.

The street will get new furniture, landscaping, artwork and some lighting, and one or two moveable "parklets" will be introduced to create extra outdoor dining space in front of businesses that want it.

But the existing footpaths and road layout will remain.

The plan will cost just $150,000 plus GST.

It was clearly the preferred option among traders, including 15 of 18 who responded to a survey by newsagent Adrian Pergallini, and six of the 10 who responded to a council survey.

An online poll run by The Standard produced a similar result: the "refresh" was the option ranked highest overall by both traders and shoppers.

The alternatives were a more significant overhaul of Bridge Street, which would have cost between $1.2 million and $2.2 million, or doing nothing.

At a meeting on November 13, Cr Tyson Matthews commended council staff for getting the consultation process right.

But three councillors voted against the plan, including Fred Toogood, who said the spruce-up was not a prudent use of ratepayers' money.

"I'd rather see those funds channelled into another footpath or road," he said.

"This isn't going to bring customers back (to Bridge Street)."

The council's sustainable communities general manager, Andrew Meddle, also hinted that a total revamp might still be needed eventually.

"A significant intervention in Bridge Street has the ability to transform the street ... into the future whilst capitalising on the potential catalyst site on the corner of Bridge Street and East Terrace (the Bridgeport Hotel)," he said in a report.

"Without a major intervention by both the council and private parties, Bridge Street will continue to struggle for market share.

"(But) it is recognised that the political and business environment is not right at this time."

A design will be drawn up over the next six months at a cost of $12,000, and construction will follow in the second half of 2018, but well before Christmas.


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