THE upgrades to Helensburgh shopping centre will be expanded, as Wollongong City Council pauses work on the project over the Christmas and summer period.
Earlier this year, Council completed ‘Stage 1’ of the Helensburgh Streetscape Masterplan, which saw several upgrades along Parkes Street and the roundabout at the intersection of Walker Street, to improve safety and accessibility. The upgrades included:
- putting a new raised crossing on the western side of the roundabout
- widening pedestrian refuges and improved pedestrian ramps
- modifying the roundabout shape and installing new kerb blisters to reduce vehicle speeds.
Council’s director of infrastructure and works, Joanne Page said ‘Stage 2’ of the Helensburgh Streetscape Masterplan project will recommence early next year, once the holiday rush in the northern suburbs eases.
Ms Page said the scope for ‘Stage 2’ works in Walker Street has increased significantly, since it was first announced in March, and now includes:
- a new pedestrian path along the western side of the street
- an upgrade of the pedestrian crossing at Coles and footpath upgrades on the eastern side from the crossing at Coles to the Short Street intersection
- pedestrian and road safety improvements at Short Street (NEW)
- flattening of the steep parking lanes in Walker Street (NEW)
- construction of a new roundabout and raised pedestrian crossing on the Lilyvale and Walker Street intersection. (NEW)
Much of the ‘Stage 2’ works will use traffic calming infrastructure to create a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles to share the space.
Transport for NSW manages speed zone changes on the road network and have expressed support of the Helensburgh Town Centre becoming a 30kmh speed zone. These changes to speed zones will be looked at once ‘Stage 2’ works are complete.
Ms Page said Council will continue to work closely with Transport for NSW to communicate any future changes to residents as they occur.
“We’re excited to share that we’ve expanded our scope for Stage 2 of the masterplan project to include some additional upgrades to areas that have been raised as needing attention by our community,” she said.
“Through our extensive community engagement process, we’ve talked to residents about their vision for the Helensburgh Town Centre. We’ve since sourced additional budget to expand our scope and make these additional upgrades. This is a big win for safety and accessibility for all members of our community!
“One of the upgrades planned for next year is the flattening and improvement of the now very steep parking lanes along Walker Street.
“Right now, the steep parking lanes on Walker Street makes parking difficult as people are forced to park their cars further from the kerb, and closer to travel lanes, in order to open their car doors.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to get in and fix this very old road. We’re going to lower the crown of the road to flatten it and make it much easier for people to park their cars. This will make a big difference to the experience of people visiting the Helensburgh Town Centre.”
Brush Box trees on Walker and Parkes streets
The Brush Box trees along Walker and Parkes streets, planted as a memorial to those lost in WW1 will be retained and protected during the Stage 2 works. At the same time, lower branches will be pruned to allow more sunlight to pass under the tree canopy for people walking past in the morning and will make it easier for people to see through to the shops from the other side of the road.
Stage 3 – Walker Street Western Terrace
Stage 3 for the Helensburgh Streetscape Masterplan will involve upgrades to the Walker Street Western Terrace with a new accessible ramp and set of stairs next to the crossing at Coles. Stage 3 works are expected to begin towards the end of 2022.
For more information about the project, visit the Our Wollongong website.
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