PHASE Two of the Helensburgh CHORD project is well underway.
The aim is to improve the appearance of the town and stimulate economic regeneration.
Phase Two will see the transformation of Colquhoun Square, the keystone part of the public realm improvement works.
The project intends to make the square one of the key focal points of the town through a combination of improvements including: creating a coherent town square with high quality natural stone finishes rather than a crossroads dominated by vehicles, a larger pedestrian area on the north side of the square, reducing pedestrian crossing distances, increasing the numbers of seats, increasing the illumination with nearly twice as many lights and increasing the number of civic trees and shrub planting in the square.
The contractor, MacLay Civil Engineering, outlined their plans for Phase Two at an information evening.
After the removal of the existing surfacing and footpaths, drainage works will be the first priority. Streetlighting ducting will then follow.
The footpaths will be done in two stages with outer footpaths and kerb lines being installed following the installation of new footpath gullies.
Work on the laybys will follow the work on the footpaths, with the road construction work coming last.
While the work is ongoing a one-way traffic management system will operate through the square, with traffic travelling from east to west along West Princes Street, with the diversion along West King Street.
A consultation is ongoing with local businesses which will help determine the access requirements for deliveries. This will help the contractors maintain access at all times without disrupting the construction work.
Argyll and Bute Council and its partners are committed to ensuring the safety of the public and the workmen, and, as such, there will be clear separation between the work and public areas, with safety barriers in place.
Despite the construction work there will be a minimum of 1.2m width of footpath available at all times.
The work is planned to leave the existing footpath in place for as long as possible before a temporary tarmac surface is laid following the installation of drainage. It is hoped this approach will help to ensure the footfall to local businesses is maintained.
Any work carried out at shop entrances will be done around the shop’s opening hours to make sure the disruption to local businesses and the retail community is kept to an absolute minimum.
Should refuse lorries be unable to uplift from the usual place, then MacLay workers will take the bins to a place where they can be easily uplifted. Businesses have been encouraged to put their bins out as normal.
As part of this phase, the Sinclair Street car park will be closed for around six weeks while it is resurfaced and new lighting and ticket machines are being installed.
At the full council meeting, the council agreed to make the full area of the pier car park free for the duration of the works on the car park in Sinclair Street to help offset the loss of parking while the works on the car park are underway.
A small part of the pier car park will be used to store specialised granite surface materials, which will be used during Phase Two.
The work is being carried out over five phases to minimise overall disruption to the town.
Policy Lead for Special Projects, Councillor Ellen Morton, said, ‘’I was delighted to see West Clyde Street re-open and the local businesses becoming fully accessible again.
“The feedback from locals has been resoundingly positive.
“They are delighted with what they are seeing on the ground, delivered through the CHORD project.
“The start of Phase Two signals the beginning of an exciting new future for Helensburgh.’’