Traders concerned by council's response to project delays

Traders are concerned about delays in the construction of The Levee.

Traders are concerned about delays in the construction of The Levee.

Traders and building owners from The Levee will raise their concerns about the precinct with Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison today because they believe the issues have been dismissed by Maitland City Council.

But council says it has recently met with stakeholders from The Levee and answered questions about their concerns.

Maitland City Action Group spokeswoman Linda McLean said traders and building owners were concerned about ongoing construction delays in High Street and the design of the shared pedestrian and vehicle zone.

She said many people had tried to express these concerns to council representatives, but they felt like the issues were being dismissed.

“This is the main reason we are seeking help from our politicians and other governing bodies,” Ms McLean said.

“The new design provides less areas to park, to turn vehicles, load rubbish and it now denies close access to some buildings for emergency and grease trap servicing. 

“In other words the old layout was more practical than the new.

“Our overriding motive, our reason to highlight the design and construction problems on the mall project and ask for help is in an endeavour to find a voice with this council.”

Work on the first stage of The Levee began last June and was originally expected to take about 35 weeks to complete.

But there has been a series of delays, most recently because of the April superstorm, that have pushed back the deadline.

Council general manager David Evans said construction on the first stage of work was on track to be finished by the end of August, unless there were any further weather delays.

He said council staff met with traders on May 13 and answered questions about a range of concerns, including the delays.

“The project has been designed in accordance with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services standards for shared zones, and will meet all requirements for movement of traffic and service vehicles within a shared pedestrian/vehicle environment,” Mr Evans said in response to the design concerns.

“All materials required for completion of the project must meet engineering specifications for the design of the pavement, and have been obtained or are in transit.”

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