Count­down is on to fin­ish Air­lie’s main street up­grade

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood and Rhi­anna Bull

THERE is light at the end of the tun­nel. This is the mes­sage for busi­ness own­ers, res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to Air­lie Beach who have en­dured a long and dis­rup­tive up­grade to the town’s main street.

A street party is is set for mid-Au­gust and a fi­nal end date set for midSeptem­ber. A ban­ner has been erected at the en­trance to the main street to in­form the Whit­sun­day com­mun- ity that the re-de­vel­op­ment is near­ing com­ple­tion.

Whit­sun­days Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment Limited (WMDL) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Da­nial Rochford said with one half of the street now com­plete, things were re­ally start­ing to take shape.

“It has been so hard on the lo­cal busi­nesses but I think we can all now start to see what ben­e­fits this up­grade is go­ing to bring to Air­lie Beach,” he said. “Now, more than ever is the time to get the mes­sage out that the re-de­vel­op­ment will be over soon and we will have a brand new main street.”

WMDL Tourism Strate­gic Ad­vi­sory Group chair­man Jeff Aquilina said the ban­ner was just one of the many ini­tia­tives by WMDL and lo­cal in­dus­try to keep the com­mu­nity pos­i­tive and drive vis­i­tors to the re­gion dur­ing such tough times.

Choose Air­lie cam­paigner Jo Sweeney said it was ex­cit­ing that Probuild were on the home stretch. She said the fo­cus now needed to shift to­wards en­cour­ag­ing more ac­tiv­ity in the street.

Probuild Civil se­nior pro­ject en­gi­neer Rashan Madawita said among the fin­ish­ing touches was a new plan to pre­vent van­dal­ism of the street’s wel­come sign. He said this had been sub­mit­ted to Coun­cil with Probuild hop­ing to have the sign re­stored within the next few weeks.

Mr Rochford said WMDL had re­cently sub­mit­ted a fund­ing pro­posal to the State Govern­ment to re­launch Air­lie Beach in Septem­ber once the up­grade was com­plete. He said WMDL was ea­gerly await­ing the out­come of this.

Next week, Coun­cil has ad­vised that the main street will be closed on Mon­day and Tues­day (July 15 and 16) from 10pm-6am to re­move ex­ist­ing power poles.

Er­gon En­ergy will start th­ese works near the Night Owl on Mon­day and work back to­wards Broad­wa­ter Av­enue on Tues­day. There will be changes to traf­fic on Water­son Way (east) on Mon­day night.

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