Council commits top up money to Abbot St works
Maitland City Council has committed $1.19 million to undertake the long-planned widening of Central Maitland’s Abbot Street, topping up the fund that already holds $2.46 million from grants.
The project will see the street widened to 15 metres between High Street and Rose Street to allow for two-way passing traffic, a cycleway and pedestrian walkway, and an additional 50 car parking spaces.
Under a later stage, the works would continue along Athel D’Ombrain Drive to connect to the train station precinct.
It forms part of Council’s wider strategy to improve transport connections in Central Maitland and return the area to its pre-1955 flood population levels.
The Athel D’ombrain connection was identified in the 2008 Maitland Integrated Land Use and Transport Study as a key inner connection, creating a southern bypass of High Street.
Council acquired properties along Abbot Street before resolving in late 2016 to demolish them to accommodate the roadworks, while the train station precinct work was completed in 2017.
Until this point works have been funded by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regional Cities program and Transport for NSW, however the remaining funds will not cover the estimated $3.65 million that this stage will cost.
The additional money will be drawn from Council’s Central Maitland drainage, Heritage Mall construction, and cycleway programs, the Athel D’Ombrain Drive Design Contingency fund, and a Hunter Water contribution to the replacement of an associated watermain.
Councillor Peter Garnham called the funding allocation a “good spend of money”.
“It’s currently a rat run – the roads aren’t designed to be used as much as they are,” he said.
“The funding strategy for this is the money has come from a grant, we’re only topping it up so we’re not even going dollar for dollar with it.”
Councillors voted unanimously to allocate the funds.