IMPROVED safety at a busy intersection is predicted as the result of a Kew roundabout makeover.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council confirmed work had started on the construction of traffic islands, installation of pedestrian refuges, line marking and sign posting of the Kew main street roundabout.
The median and kerbside concrete traffic islands, as well as the additional linemarking/signs, would better define the roundabout making it safer and, with the provision of better defined crossing points, would make it more user friendly to both pedestrians and motorists, the council said.
Kew Corner Store owner Paul Macindoe said the work was fantastic as it would slow the traffic flow, which was critical.
“Since they took the lights out two years ago, it is significantly worse,” Mr Macindoe said about safety at the roundabout.
“On a bad hour, you can see five close calls.”
The construction of traffic calming devices and pedestrian refuge islands at all approaches to the intersection are expected to be completed by early March.
Median island extensions, line marking and sign posting of the area should be finished by mid-March, weather permitting.
The estimated cost of works is $100,000.
The council removed the traffic lights and installed an interim roundabout in 2011 at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Nancy Bird Walton Drive.
Mr Macindoe said the intersection was the gateway to the Camden Haven, and as such it was a very busy corner.
He hopes the latest roadwork will entice more motorists to explore the Camden Haven.
“When your first impressions of an area looks like a post industrial tip, it’s not very encouraging to look further,” Mr Macindoe said.
The business owner has seen traffic slowly build as more motorists ventured off the Pacific Highway.
The highway divided Kew, and created traffic bottlenecks at peak times, until the town’s bypass in late 2009.
Mr Macindoe said lobbying for the Kew beautification work would be the next step after the roundabout makeover.
A Kew main street improvement plan involves creating a village-like atmosphere at the stretch, now called Nancy Bird Walton Drive, to attract motorists off the highway.