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'Vibrant, shady and inclusive': the $10m streetscape project that will transform link road

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A multimillion-dollar streetscape project is set to transform a major road in the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

The tired, old section of First Avenue, in Maroochydore, will be turned into a vibrant, shady and inclusive link between the Maroochydore City Centre, Cotton Tree and Ocean Street precincts.

The upgrade is set to provide businesses, residents and visitors a more inviting space to live, work and play.

The upgrade is ready for construction later this year and is being delivered as part of a Streetscape Capital Works Program.

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the $10m First Avenue upgrade, in partnership with the Queensland Government, was a critical step in connecting the expanded CBD with other business and recreation precincts.

“The streetscape design will link this section of First Avenue with the new First Avenue extension into the CBD, Aerodrome Road, The Esplanade and Duporth Avenue,” Cr Cox said.

“The upgrade is all about improving the built urban environment with shaded and attractive open space to conduct business, enjoy the local restaurants and actively move about more safely and efficiently.”

An artist’s impression, looking at George Street, of improved pedestrian circulation and a meeting space on First Avenue.

“The design also creates street atmosphere and significantly enhances the look and experience of the area to help maintain and build upon Maroochydore’s already strong economy and become a catalyst for attracting new investment.”

“The design incorporates elements to calm local traffic to significantly improve shared space and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The concept design was discussed with traders and building owners in 2018, raising a variety of key values which have since been incorporated into the final design.

“If you’ve taken a drive around the new CBD recently, you would have seen it’s a hive of activity with new construction and business bustle.

“This momentum will continue as we expand and further enhance our surrounding streets to offer our community an emerging city centre to support our growing region.”

The streetscape design creates an urban forest connection that will cool, shade and green the link and offers more space for potential outdoor dining and night-time trade.

An artist’s impression of the Cornmeal Parade pedestrian and cycle crossing.

Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli said the green boost included about 60 new trees and 1500 new plants in the landscaping.

“Green areas have a positive effect on our wellbeing and makes the area a people-friendly CBD,” he said.

“Surrounding the trees will be a variety of street furniture, wide footpaths, shared spaces and improved crossings and connections to existing and future pedestrian and cycling pathways.

“The upgrade also includes raised pedestrian crossings along First Avenue, Cornmeal Parade, Memorial Avenue and George Street and a scramble crossing (similar to those used in the Brisbane CBD) at the intersection of First Avenue, Duporth Avenue and The Esplanade, in order to calm traffic and keep our nearest and dearest safe.

“Improving connectivity allows council to ensure our new and existing footpaths are accessible for all abilities, families with prams, toddlers in tow, the elderly with walkers, people using mobility aids and anyone with wheels on the ground.

“I’m really looking forward to this upgrade and thank new businesses and residents for their support and understanding.

“This design has been detailed since council’s initial engagement of the concept design.

“Which is why I’m encouraging the community and traders to come along to our Design Information night being held July 21, followed by our Construction Information night in August 2022, to better understand the construction process – there will be more details closer to the date on council’s website.”

With construction of the CBD in progress, council is also focused on surrounding areas. Picture: sunshinecoastcouncil.com.au

The project is funded by the Queensland Government’s South-East Queensland Community Stimulus Program, in association with council.

For more information. visit First Avenue Streetscape. To receive project and construction information updates, please register your contact details via placemaking@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

The project design includes a scramble crossing (marked 1), raised pedestrian crossings (2), widened footpath (3) and tree planting (4). Picture: sunshinecoastcouncil.com.au

Plans for First Avenue 

  • Improve safety through a slower speed environment and improve pedestrian connectivity through raised pedestrian and scramble crossings. A scramble crossing would allow pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time.
  • Upgrade footpath level variations and driveways to be accessible for all.
  • Transform the eastern side of First Avenue with extended kerbing, landscaped areas and new street furniture.
  • Transform the western side of First Avenue into a 6m wide, shared path for pedestrians and cyclists with a centralised green strip.
  • Relocate the two bus stops along First Avenue to The Esplanade and upgrade them to minimise conflict with other First Avenue Street users.
  • Extensive landscaping, with about 60 new trees and 1500 new plantings.
  • Changes to on-street parking on the western side of First Avenue, to accommodate the shared path for pedestrians and bicycles. These changes would be offset with parking in Cornmeal Parade car park.
  • Retain but redistribute on-street parking on the eastern side of First Avenue.
  • Streetscape construction works are expected to start later this year.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor with your name and suburb at Sunshine Coast News via: news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au

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