• Warner Street Upgrade Project

    Soft Approach

Background

Douglas Shire Council has been looking at completing targeted operational works in Warner Street.

Newly installed Water Sensitive Urban Design drainage will significantly reduce water pooling (which occurs almost all year round) and a concrete pathway and street lighting will deliver significant improvements in safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

The upgrade will also result in cost efficiencies in street cleaning. Layback kerbs and reconfiguration of the concrete borders of garden beds will provide sufficient room for a small bobcat to get in and clean gutters along the length of the street.

The work will not require the removal of any Rosewood trees.

 

Preliminary works – June 17

Preliminary work will start next week [17 June 2019] on the Warner Street Upgrade.

Two main activities will be occurring. The first involves removing invasive weeds on the northern side of the street. These weeds, including Singapore Daisy and Leucaena, could be inadvertently spread during construction so will be removed. Some are in garden beds on private property and in a few places, they’ve spread to the road reserve. In all instances, we will liaise with property owners or their agent before work starts. As advised at the workshop, all property owners with plants and/or gardens on the front boundary understand and support removal of gardens to allow for the pathway.

The second activity will be maintenance of the Rosewood Trees. Under the advice of our arborist Jim Scott, the trees will be pruned of dead wood. This will assist with their health, but importantly will reduce the occurrence of dead branches falling randomly on the nature strip and/or road. If required, there will also be crown lifting which is where the low branches overhanging the road are removed to provide sufficient clearance for vehicles to travel safely along Warner Street. This pruning will improve the health of the trees, reduce leaf production without impacting amenity.

Council’s overarching approach in Warner Street is to treat the Rosewood trees as an asset.

This is both during construction, and on an ongoing basis. The upgrade works will not require the removal of any Rosewood trees.

Specifics of the Warner Street Soft Approach

  • New pathway on the northern side of Warner Street
  • Repaving on both northern side shop frontages to align with new shared pathway
  • Provision of subsoil drainage
  • Provision of individual property gully inlet pits to be connected to new layback kerb and channel and subsoil drain
  •  Modification of access crossovers as required;
  • Additional grated kerb inlet pits where kerb renewal installed at minimum grades
  • Street lighting with underground power to light pathway and road way
  • New water supply main and property connections on the northern side
  •  Renewal and reconfiguration of local drainage pipes and connection locations to trunk drainage network.

 

Pathway

  • The concrete path on the northern side of Warner Street will be two metres wide and will be a shared pathway to serve both pedestrians and cyclists.
  • The path will run the length of Warner Street, connecting to existing paved pathways at either end of the street.
  • Several properties have garden beds and/or trees close to their front property boundary. Where the proposed works will affect vegetation on private property, Council has spoken to individual landowners and gained agreement from everyone.
  • A few of these front garden beds contain invasive weeds including Singapore Daisy. Prior to work commencing, Council crews will remove these weeds to prevent spreading.

Street Lighting

  • Power for street lighting will be underground.
  • Lighting will illuminate the road as well as the pathway taking the canopy of the Rosewoods into consideration.

 

Wish List

The project team will investigate three enhancements and deliver if the budget permits:
1. Patterned concrete on the pathway to achieve a nicer finish
2. Repaving and/or new concrete surface on the existing paved pathways on the northern side to align with the new pathway.
3. Repaving and/or new concrete surface on the existing pathway on the southern side on the corner of Grant Street. This will reduce the frequency of pavers lifting and requiring repairs.

 

 

Rosewood Tree Maintenance

As an overarching strategy, it will be explained to all Council staff and any contractors involved on the Warner Street upgrade that the Rosewoods are to be treated as an asset.
To minimise this and assist in keeping the trees in good health, Council will implement a maintenance program designed for this species, in the urban environment. It has been designed by the arborist and will include as a minimum:

  • Formative pruning from establishment in order to ensure a structurally sound form and enable a long Safe Useful Life Expectancy.
  • Periodic crown lifting for general asset and amenity clearances – i.e. lower branches removed from over the road to prevent contact with vehicles.
  • Periodic removal of significant deadwood (recommended six monthly). Feedback from residents and traders indicate it is not uncommon for branches to fall from the Rosewood trees and this will reduce occurrence of falling branches.

For a few trees on the northern side, the surface roots may need to be cut to accommodate either the pathway or sub soil drainage. The pathway will be positioned abutting property boundaries so as to allow the maximum distance from the trees.

When this is necessary, as per advice from our arborist Jim Scott, steps will be taken to ensure the tree has the best chance of survival. These include:

  • A clean, straight cut is recommended as this will minimise the area of exposed root.
  • The cut will be “painted” with a substance to prevent tree root pathogens
  • The tree may be pruned to compensate as advised by the arborist on the project team.

 

Delivery of the Project

Council will project manage the upgrade and council crews will do most of the work, with specialist subcontractors brought in as required.

During construction, work crews will liaise with individual residents with regard to timing of works. This will ensure any interruptions to access and egress from properties pre-planned to minimise inconvenience.

 

Timing and Budget

We asked residents and traders about timing of the work, specifically whether there was a need to avoid peak tourist season. All were keen for the project to start as soon as possible.

Council hopes to finalise the detailed design 30 June 2019.

A budget of $250,000 has been included in the 2019/20 preliminary budget and if approved, If the work will commence in August and be completed before Christmas 2019.

 

Enquiries

If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Gaye Scott on 0418 73 009 or gaye.scott@douglas.qld.gov.au