Two CBD projects have reached milestones and are on track for completion in time for the Christmas holidays.
The northern end of the Town Square opened on September 22.
All paths on the Town Green are open with the turfed areas to be fenced off for about a month.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council says works to reinvigorate the Town Square and Town Green are on track for completion in readiness for the many locals and visitors who will enjoy these spaces over the busy Christmas holiday season.
Work continues on the remainder of the Town Square.
Council’s acting director Andrew Doig said the council has been able to increase pedestrian space and provide a more usable, accessible and open area that can be used for community events, markets and festivals.
Semi-mature deciduous green vase trees have been planted.
They will grow to 10 metres high and seven metres wide.
The trees will provide shade and maintain clear sight lines. Moonboy shrubs will give additional colour.
The Town Square redevelopment at the northern end of Horton Street paves the way for alfresco dining areas to be shaded by 16 large commercial umbrellas in a bright colour scheme.
Modular furniture will also provide contrasting colour.
Catenary lighting, to be installed about seven metres above the ground like a spider web, will be a feature of the new-look Town Square.
The catenary lighting will be used for events and festivals.
“These exciting additions will also allow for new business opportunities and create a vibrant, inclusive environment for our community to dine and relax,” Mr Doig said.
Off the Hook proprietor Paul Walsh said he appreciated the council opening a section of the Town Square in time for the school holidays.
“It’s going to be great when it’s all complete,” he said.
Mr Walsh said the lights had already made a huge difference at night.
“I think a lot of people have come in and made the perception that it’s a concrete jungle but they are only seeing what is open,” he said.
“Once you see the whole thing for what it is, I think it will become a really neat destination for families.”
Mr Walsh said the Town Square construction had a massive impact on his business with visibility posing the biggest problem.
Chop 'n Chill proprietor Jacqueline Cudmore said she was excited about the Town Square project and she could not wait until it was finished.
“I would personally like to see a little bit more greenery but I think it’s wonderful,” she said.
Mrs Cudmore said the Town Square would create more opportunities for the area to host events.
“It’s just inviting and I’m loving the fact it’s lit up,” she said.
The business had a drop in customers during the construction period but trade picked up from September 22.
Chop 'n Chill paid for an electronic sign near the business for eight weeks during the construction period through Coastal Hire.
Works on the Town Green are also wrapping up, with all landscaping, paving and street furniture installation now complete.
The new path along the foreshore is open and the lighting commissioned.
“The widened riverfront walkway is sure to be popular, and the new lawn has recently been laid, providing a spectacular riverside green space that links the Town Square and Town Green perfectly,” Mr Doig said.
The turfed areas of Town Green will remain fenced off for about one month as the new lawn establishes.
Works to upgrade and maintain the cenotaph at the southern end of the Town Square, including the relocation of memorial plinths and stone cladding, will be completed in time for Remembrance Day on November 11.
The design for the Town Square was adopted by the Town Centre Master Plan (TCMP) Committee, which is funding the work through contributions levied on Port Macquarie CBD commercial property owners.
The TCMP is also contributing funds towards the Town Green upgrade.
Mr Doig said the council would like to thank businesses, locals and visitors for their patience and understanding while the council delivered these upgrades.
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