A BREAKDOWN in communication about road works in central Colac has left retailers feeling “disappointed” and “frustrated”.
VicRoads contractor Fulton Hogan started footpath work along Murray Street last week to prepare for the Colac to Winchelsea Princes Highway duplication.
But Gellibrand Street business owners including Sam Perisanidis of Apollo Seafoods were “shocked” to discover the contractor would close access to the street for more than two days.
Mr Perisanidis attended a VicRoads community information session about the road work last month but said VicRoads plans failed to show Gellibrand Street would close during the work.
He said VicRoads failed to notify him of the impending street closure.
“I was told at 10am Wednesday morning that they would shut the street down for two days,” Mr Perisanidis said.
“This is the third time the street has been shut down with no notification,” he said.
“When I try to get a reason why I haven’t been notified, everyone just passes the buck. “VicRoads blames the shire, the shire blames VicRoads, the mayor can’t do anything about it and the public servants blame the system; It’s just absolutely pathetic.”
Fellow Gellibrand Street businesses Hickey’s Central Meats’ and Ritcho’s Bakery also told the Colac Herald that VicRoads failed to notify them about the street closure.
Traffic had limited access to Gellibrand Street between Dennis Street and Bromfield Street on Wednesday, before contractors closed sections of Gellibrand Street either side of the Murray Street traffic lights yesterday.
Murray Street business owner Helen Woodmason, of Simply Perfect Pieces, said VicRoads also failed to notify her of a Queen Street road closure earlier this week.
Mrs Woodmason said the road closure affected parking along Murray Street, with contractors’ vehicles also taking up parking spaces in surrounding streets.
A VicRoads official visited her business after she complained about the closure, and Mrs Woodmason said she was “relieved” after Queen Street reopened yesterday.
VicRoads project director Tony Hedley said his organisation and the contractor apologised for any confusion about the road works.
“VicRoads and Fulton Hogan have endeavoured to provide three days’ advance notice to the businesses directly affected by the works,” he said.
“We understand that some businesses may not have received this advance notice.
“VicRoads and Fulton Hogan apologise for this and will work to ensure that adequate notice is provided for any future works.”
Mr Hedley said side road works off Murray Street would take up to two days.
“Closures have been kept to a minimum with side roads closed for up to two days per intersection with minor detours in place,” he said.
“VicRoads will continue to work with business owners and residents endeavouring to keep impacts to a minimum during construction in Colac between Bruce Street and Corangamite Street.”