A busy couple of weeks in Helensburgh have seen the multi-million pound regeneration project move on at pace
The key focus of work in the past week has been on the front where, in good weather and with the correct tidal conditions, a set of pre-cast concrete revetment steps went in. Another set is planned to go in this week, providing the tidal conditions are suitable.
Going forward, the front will benefit from soft landscaping between the esplanade and the road, with putting/miniature golf and mounds for children to play on, as well as stepping stones, formed from recycled Caithness stone which is currently being removed from West Princes Street.
Phase Two, Colquhoun Square, has also seen work progress. The drainage problems in the south side of the square have been resolved, with the tree pits now free-draining. They are currently drying out ahead of planting.
Work in the square has focused on the southern corner, from the Oxfam shop round to the Post Office, and has seen the finished surfacing going in. The contractor is working from the outside in, laying the granite paving in front of the shops first before moving on to the carriageway. This has caused some disruption but the work is planned in such a way that people will be able to walk round the square on the new paving while work continues towards the centre.
The bollards and plinths which will support the artwork for the open air museum have also been installed.
On the north side of the square, excavation work has been on-going, with drainage work for the tree pits going well.
Work began on Phase Two on January 6th, and very early on rock was found at shallow depths across the square. Heavy machinery was brought in to excavate the rock in order to install the new drainage. In total over eighty cubic metres of rock was removed in what was a long and noisy task.
Following this, the contractor began to construct the street lighting, festive lighting ducting and draw-pits, passing over the top of the drainage. Working in very wet weather, the excavations were completed for the new footpath gullies.
In total, the project will see over 5000m of cabling installed, most of which is within the square.
The intention had been to use the existing street lighting during the construction work, however, the shallow depths of cabling meant that some of it was damaged, meaning tower lighting has been installed on a temporary basis until the new lighting is up and running.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Special Projects, Helensburgh-based Councillor Ellen Morton, said: ‘’There was much excitement around the town last week, a real buzz as the revetment steps went in. It’s pleasing to see things really taking shape now.
‘’I have been encouraged by the positive feedback from local businesses and residents; we are starting to see the finished product taking shape
‘’It’s taken the contractor some time to get out of the ground in the square but now that foundation work is complete we have already seen some real progress being made. The square is starting to take shape and I’m sure we will see things moving on quickly.
‘’I would ask locals to be patient while the paving goes in in front of the shops – please bear with us, we are trying to keep the disruption to a minimum.
‘’Work is also on-going on West Princes Street where the contractor is removing stone which, rather than being thrown away, is being re-used as a landscaping feature on the front.
‘’The work on the Sinclair Street car park, re-scheduled due to the poor weather over the New Year period making the pier car park unusable, is due to begin before the end of the month and should be finished in early May.
‘’These are exciting times for Helensburgh and I am delighted to see the council’s investment in the future of the town beginning to pay off. With these public realm works, the Clyde Street project and the Hermitage Park regeneration progressing Helensburgh is becoming a better place to live, work and visit.
‘’All in all it’s been a really positive week.’’