MURWILLUMBAH business owner Shelly Leape is fuming over Tweed Shire Council and the Murwillumbah Business Chamber's decision to close the main street on her busiest day, Sunday.
Mrs Leape, the owner of Shell's on Broadway Take- away, is one of a number of businesspeople disgruntled by Council's and the chamber's “complete lack of consultation”.
“They told us in a letter last Monday,” Mrs Leape said.
“Not one person has approached any businesses on this street.”
The major drainage upgrade project includes the extension of the stormwater pipeline along Murwillumbah Street as far as Queen Street and up the first part of Queen Street. Stage one included Tumbulgum Road, Wharf Street, Commercial Road and Proudfoots Lane and was completed in 2006.
The half-million-dollar works, which began yesterday, will take place between 6am and 5pm from Sunday to Wednesday for the next three months. There will be a full road closure of the section where work is being done at these times, with single-lane road access through portable traffic lights at other times.
Despite pedestrian access to shops being available at all times, Mrs Leape is not optimistic about the next 13 weeks.
“This will affect trade very badly,” she said.
“Already today (Monday) we have been dead quiet.
“Sunday is my biggest day.”
Mrs Leape approached Council works manager Ian Kite about changing the working days, but “he said it was non-negotiable”.
“They're saying just tell everyone to park out the back, but people can't just walk through. It's tough enough with the recession, let alone this as well.”
Already yesterday workers had barricaded off the two parking spaces in front of Mrs Leape's shop, and a large galvanised iron fence blocked the view from her alfresco dining area. Luffley Cafe just a few doors away was in the same situation.
“It's an eyesore,” Mrs Leape said. “No one will want to eat out there, and soon there'll be dust everywhere from the works.”
The project will deliver essential upgrades to storm- water drainage in the CBD, relocate the drainage system from private property onto council-owned roads, allow future access and mainten- ance of the system and reduce odour problems in the CBD due to stagnant water and sewer infiltration.
Council said the works cannot be carried out at night due to safety reasons, escalation of costs and accessibility to materials.