Bridge to take toll on business
KINGSCLIFF business identities admit the community faces an uncertain future with one of the main arterial entries to the village to be shut down later this month.
Kingscliff Bridge over Cudgen Creek will be closed from Monday, June 27 for upgrade works.
It is anticipated the project will take six months to complete and during that time motorists travelling to and from Kingscliff from the south will be forced to take alternative routes.
Kingscliff and District Chamber of Commerce vice-president Phil Kelly said he expects the closure will take a hefty toll on the business community.
“We’re very concerned for local business,” he said.
“There’s going to be a lot of pain. Our biggest concern is that once people get into the habit of going elsewhere, they won’t come back to Kingscliff.
“A lot of businesses will be struggling to keep their doors open. Unfortunately there are businesses that won’t survive because there just won’t be the trade.”
Mr Kelly, general manager of the Kingscliff Bowls Club, predicted the town’s smaller businesses would bear the brunt of what he expects will be a significant downturn in passing traffic.
“We’re looking at what options we’ve got to keep attracting people but the smaller businesses don’t have that option so they really will struggle,” he said.
“There will be businesses that will go under.”
Kettles On café owner Jordan Lamberth-Rosenberg said he too had concerns but was confident Kingscliff will rally.
“I am a bit concerned but I can’t foresee any dire effects on my business,” he said.
“But let’s just hope it only takes six months. Let’s hope it’s re-opened before Christmas.”
Mr Lamberth-Rosenberg said while the bridge closure was of concern, he rated the planned closure of the caravan park in February as a bigger issue but was determined to remain positive.
The caravan park is set to close for 18 months to allow for the revitalisation of the foreshore.
“This (the bridge) is just a little hiccup,” he said.
“With the foreshore redevelopment we’ve got a few uncertain years ahead of us but Kingscliff has a nation-wide reputation as a fantastic, family friendly tourist destination so I’m going to remain optimistic.”
Mr Kelly said Tweed Shire Council was doing its best to minimise the impact of the works with a number of strategies in the pipeline.
A shop local campaign will alert the community that Kingscliff is still very much open for business and council is planning to introduce a online service that will advertise local businesses’ “bridge deal of the week”.
While the closing of the bridge will initiate changes for motorists and bus commuters, the pedestrian bridge will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists.
For motorists, traffic will be diverted via Turnock St, Cudgen and Tweed Coast roads.
The detour is expected to add an average of 11 minutes to a trip from Marine Parade to Casuarina Way, Salt Village.