Street still open for business

Hume mayor Adem Atmaca, Sunbury Business Association’s Marnie Harding and Vic’s Food and Wine traders Vic and Carmel Scerri inspect works at O’Shanassy Street. (Shawn Smits)

It’s business not quite as usual, as Hume council continues works to dramatically improve the eastern section of O’Shanassy Street in Sunbury.

People are being urged to support shops in the popular dining and retail precinct, which remains open while the major upgrade takes place.

A part of the council’s Sunbury streetscape makeover, trenches have been dug along the kerbside so powerlines can go underground.

Other works will include wider footpaths with granite paving, improved pedestrian lighting, kerb and drainage upgrades, pedestrian crossing improvements and land- scaping works.

Seven mature elm trees will be planted along the street.

Sunbury Business Association vice- president Marnie Harding said while some retailers had experienced difficulties, including losing trade, most understood the upgrades would be ‘‘fantastic’’ in the long run.

‘‘SBA encourages people to make an extra effort to support these businesses while the works are being delivered, as experience tells us it can be tough for traders,’’ Ms Harding said.

Hume mayor Adem Atmaca said the council had deliberately chosen this time of year to carry out the upgrades because shops were less busy than during summer months.

‘‘Council has also attempted to schedule the major construction works for the quieter days of the week to minimise any inconvenience,’’ he said.

Cr Atmaca said street furniture, including extra seating and new drinking fountains, would be installed to encourage people to spend more time on the pedestrian-friendly shopping strip.

‘‘The refurbished streetscape will encourage more alfresco dining and undoubtedly entice more and more people to visit every business along O’Shanassy Street,’’ he said.

Works are expected to be finished by the end of October.

A Facebook page has been set up to give businesses an extra channel to promote specials.