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Merewether Local Centre upgrade set to begin

Llewellyn Street, Merewether, will soon be overhauled with new street furniture and shade trees among a range of cosmetic and infrastructure improvements to make the local centre a more attractive and accessible shopping destination..

The $3 million Lewellyn Street local centre upgrade borrows design elements from the nearby Bathers Way – especially concrete and timber installations – and includes footpath and drainage replacements to make the shopping, dining and heath care hub safer and more user friendly.

The improvements will include comfortable, fixed street furniture, new shade trees and low-level gardens to take the edge off summer heat.

A platform with fixed seating at the corner of Dent Street will allow alfresco dining, while bench seating and bar tables with stools along Llewellyn Street create a more functional streetscape along with bike racks and a bubbler.

Ward 2 Councillor Carol Duncan said Llewellyn Street’s physical and functional overhaul would make it a more appealing place to do business and meet friends for coffee or a meal.

“The Llewellyn Street upgrade will create a more-appealing gathering place by addressing existing issues of accessibility, stormwater management and visitor comfort courtesy of new street furniture and shading,” Councillor Duncan said.

“Due to an increase in development and associated road safety issues, flooding and infrastructure needs, Llewellyn Street was identified as a priority project within the City’s local centre renewal program, which has already seen the multimillion-dollar upgrades of the Beresfield and Carrington town centres.

“Like those projects, new road surfaces, kerb and gutter replacements and reconfigured parking spaces will improve access and, together with pedestrian lighting upgrades that includes a smart pole for free Wi-Fi, make the area safer at night.”

Pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy improved amenity courtesy of raised zebra crossings, new cycle lanes, traffic-calming treatments and a new 40km/hr speed limit.

Speed humps and gardens at the intersections of Morgan, Winsor and Merewether streets will also help slow passing traffic.

The project follows extensive public consultation that began in 2016 when the City engaged with the community to develop a Public Domain Plan.It was publicly exhibited in November and December that year before being approved by Newcastle Traffic Committee and the elected Council.

Work on the project is expected to start in July and take about 12 months to complete.

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