The long-awaited Upper Mary St upgrade is on with the council awarding a $2.4 million contract.
The long-awaited Upper Mary St upgrade is on with the council awarding a $2.4 million contract.

Tender awarded for $2.4m Gympie CBD upgrade

THE long-planned upgrade of Upper Mary St is finally happening, with a $2.39 million contract for the work awarded this week.

The Landscape Construction Company won the job following an extended search in which it looked like the project might never happen.

It was originally scheduled to start in February this year but was pushed back in response to Federal Government rules which call for open tenders.

This pushed the start date back to May - but that was then scuttled when no tenders were received.

Upper Mary street Gympie.
Upper Mary St. Renee Albrecht

There is still no official start date marked down for the revitalisation.

"The council will be in contact with the businesses and landholders involved with further details, including the start date once negotiations are complete and the contract is in place,” a council spokeswoman said.

A $3 million budget for the work will be evenly split between the council and the Federal Government.

Improvements to the street include new trees and garden beds, more seating, concrete footpaths and artwork.

New kerbing is being installed near the Channon St intersection, and stormwater drainage is also being improved.

The project became a contentious last August.

Energex replaces power lines and poles on Upper Mary St Gympie
Upper Mary St Gympie. Scott Kovacevic

Councillor Bob Fredman had called it a "worry” and asked if the Federal Government's money could be returned and the council's contribution redirected to another project.

The lack of underground power was a particular sticking point.

Cr Dan Stewart also questioned whether the plan's total cost was "greater than the worth”.

His motion to reassess the project was shot down by a one vote margin.

Mayor Mick Curran defended it at the time as being part of the council's strategy to drive the region forward once the Bruce Highway bypass opens.

Cr Mark McDonald also argued against pulling the plug on a project that had been in the pipeline since 2013.

Throughout the tender process the council has said it is consulting with businesses to ensure any disruption caused by the work will be kept to a minimum.