The contractor estimates that phase two (Colquhoun Square) will be completed by the end of the month.
The contractor has forecast that phases three (Colquhoun Street North and East Princes Street, from Maitland Street to Sinclair Street) and four (Sinclair Street from West/East King Street to West/East Princes Street) will start at the beginning of September, with a view to completion by Christmas.
Phase four (the bottom Sinclair Street) is expected to begin in the New Year.
The £7.23million of improvement works is split in to four phases to minimise disruption as far as possible. The first two phases (the esplanade and Colquhoun Square) are virtually complete.
Members today agreed to allow the contractor to continue to use the pier head car park to store materials for the remainder of the project.
The project aims to make Helensburgh a more attractive place for people to live, work and visit, as well as creating a better traffic flow through the town centre and developing the local economy.
Work has included increasing the width of footpaths to make it easier for pedestrians to get around the town; at the same time this has narrowed the road width which slows vehicles down. The improvements will also see new on-street parking bays created and dedicated loading bays for local shops.
The project has also seen the installation of new lanterns and lighting columns as well as new street furniture, bins and bike stands.
The contractor has sought to minimise disruption to the retail community, ensuring that pedestrian access has been maintained as far as possible and that, where practical, work at shop entrances has been carried out at times to suit retailers.
Phases three and four will require some temporary road closures - for East Princes Street between Maitland Street and Sinclair Street as well as for Sinclair Street between West/East King Street and West/East Princes Street, effective once phases one and two are completed. Vehicular access to Sinclair Street car park and to the railway station will remain at all times, the latter using the Maitland Street entrance (in front of the taxi rank).
The schedule of works is as follows:
- Road closures with diversions in place
- Removal of existing surfacing and footpaths
- Drainage work
- Street lighting ducting
- Footpath and lay-by construction
- Road construction
The council’s Policy Lead for Special Projects, Helensburgh-based Councillor Ellen Morton, said: ‘’I’m very happy to see the project taking shape - the square and the front both look fantastic and it’s great to see people out enjoying it. I’ve had some very positive feedback from local residents and retailers, particularly around the improved access to the shops.
‘’We’re on the home straight now and I’m confident that we’ll be finished by spring 2015. Admittedly there have been some slippages in the original timeline which have been caused by a number of things - poor ground condition and the additional drainage work - but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end. These are exciting times for the town, with the next big council project in Helensburgh being the redevelopment of the pier head, a development that will complement these works, following on from the new civic centre.
‘’We’ve also secured £150,000 of Sustrans funding which will be used to upgrade the on-road cycle lanes cycle lanes to complement the CHORD work.
‘’The project remains within its £7.23million budget and will deliver high quality improvements to the town, making it a better place for people to live, work and visit.’’