The Airlie Beach Markets will cross the road from September 1 to rest on Coconut Grove temporarily while foreshore revitalisation works are in progress. Whitsunday Regional Council awarded the construction tender to Paynter Dixon Queensland last week, with upgrades expected to begin later this month or early September.
WRC said the area between the Sailing Club and Fairy Tree Park would be fenced off for safety reasons, and the public would not be able to access this section of the foreshore parkland. The existing gravel car park will be closed during construction, however the Sailing Club carpark will stay open during the works. The street car parking along Coconut Grove will also remain open. Whitsunday Lions Market Committee chairman Allan Gravelle said parking would be "a nightmare”, posing the biggest challenge.
"The parking we've got barely copes and when the constructions starts it will be a problem,” Mr Gravelle said. "But Council have been very helpful and they are intending to have an information stall at the market this weekend.” Mr Gravelle said other than parking, the temporary site would not have power, so while some stall holders had small generators, some had decided not to trade for now. The amenities block will remain open as long as possible, but portable toilets may be required further down the track. Despite interruptions, Mr Gravelle said stall holders had been co-operative. "They all understand what's happening and there is quite a strong light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. "The incentive is there to make it work.”
WRC has been working closely with local businesses and the Airlie Beach Lions Markets to keep them update and ensure construction impacts are minimised. Locals can look forward to a new playground, 65 extra sealed carparks, more seating and shade umbrellas, a refurbished amenities block, and a new sound stage among other landscape upgrades. The works will take place between late August or September 1-February 2018 between 6.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Source: Whitsunday Times