Dowling Street's $2.2 million upgrade will not feature a median strip

Council will spend $2.2million upgrading 700m of Dowling Street between Mary and Mackay Streets
Council will spend $2.2million upgrading 700m of Dowling Street between Mary and Mackay Streets

The people have spoken – there is to be no median strip in Dowling Street’s future.

Dungog Shire Council’s planned $2.2million upgrade of the town’s main street between Mary Street and Mackay Street has sparked much community angst.

While residents were pleased the council was finally set to repair the patchy entrance to the town, many were not too impressed on how it might be achieved.

One concept for the upgrade involved simply resurfacing the street while the other featured a vegetated median strip and a retaining wall which would create  two levels for motorists.

The council received close to 500 submissions when the concept proposals were exhibited, with the overwhelming majority against splitting the wide street with a median strip.

Mayor Tracy Norman has confirmed the median strip concept is now off the agenda.

“The A Ward Councillors, Cr John Connors, Cr Jan Lyon and myself, have heard this message loud and clear,” she said.

“The General Manager will be writing to those who made written submissions, explaining that council has heard and respects this message.”

Cr Norman said the council wants to continue to discuss the upgrade with the community and hopes to run workshops for interested community members to also discuss such matters as lighting, tree planting, gardens and street furniture.

The work had been slated to start early this year with completion before the end of the financial year on June 30.

“The budget for the work remains in place - we just need to get it right before a decision is made by council and works commence,” said Cr Norman.

Cr Connors said he was “confident that a majority of the councillors accept the view of the vast majority of those members of the community who expressed their opinion in the submissions”.