The long awaited reconstruction of one of Gloucester's busiest roads is nearing completion and for the most part, residents are very happy.
After many years of discussion between council and the community, work began on the complete reconfiguration of Queen Street at the beginning of the year.
The two phase project started with road pavement reconstruction between Ravenshaw and Barrington streets, before moving onto the massive transformation between Barrington and Church streets.
Although the works have meant a few inconveniences for the businesses located on the road, the work has progressed efficiently and on schedule with completion due to meet its September deadline.
Although Roundabout Inn licensee Stewart Carruthers is impressed with how quickly the roadworks have been moving along, he is a little concerned about the width of the road on the north side. And he's not alone.
Fellow business owners, Kellie Warwick and Tracey Pinkerton have also expressed concerns to MidCoast Council about there not being enough room for a parked car to open its door with a truck going past.
"It's not safe," Ms Warwick said.
Originally both sides of the very wide road had angled parking, however the new design leaves only parallel parking options on the north side.
According to council's director of infrastructure and engineering services Robert Scott, the road has been designed with enough room for safe kerbside parking. There will also be extra parking on the south side of the road with a safe access via a pedestrian crossing.
When council redesigned the road there was a lot of attention paid to the safety issues caused by the gradient and the width of the road.
Not only was it dangerous to reverse out of the nose-first angled parking on the south side due to the angle causing visibility issues, but the speed of traffic was also a concern.
The new road has two levels with a median strip in middle. The levels help address the gradient issues not only for cars, but also for stormwater run off.
The new roundabout at Barrington Street will help slow drivers down and deter large trucks from taking the route. While it's not a fineable offence for truck to use Queen Street, as there are no weight limits, the desire is to have them detour around the main business district.
Mr Scott explained how the idea was to transform the road into a calm business district, like Church Street, where traffic was slowed down.
"The wider the road, the faster people seem to drive," Mr Scott said.
"We want to create a place where drivers are cautious, observant and slow down. We want people to know when they enter the space that there are pedestrians walking in and out businesses and to be prepared if a child were to come darting out on the road."
Gloucester Business Chamber president James Hooke agreed and said this project was long overdue for the town.
"The new roundabout will slow the speed of traffic and provide a safer and more pedestrian friendly CBD," Mr Hooke said.
And for Australia Post owner, Charles Youness, the reconstruction is an added bonus for his business and he can't wait until it's finished.
"There will be more parking. Safe parking, where people don't have to worry about reversing safely," Mr Youness said.
Member for Lyne David Gillespie has recently inspected the work which was partly federally funded.
"Council has invested $760,000 of federal funding from the Roads to Recovery program towards the $2.46 million dollar upgrade of Queen Street." Dr Gillespie said.
For more information about the project visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Part-of-your-every-day/Council-Works/Queen-Street-Gloucester