ON MONDAY March 5, almost 13 months since the $17million in federal, state and local government funding was announced, physical work on the Airlie main street upgrade is expected to finally start.
Contractors for the project, Probuild Civil, will start by locating existing services and familiarising themselves with the site.
Probuild Civil's project manager Alistair Neale said initial works would be concentrated around Waterson Way and the top end of the main street with the project unlikely to be held up by wet weather at this stage.
"A lot of the service relocation work we're going to be doing initially is not going to be weather dependant. If we can get through March the wet season should be over and we should have good weather for getting on with the job," he said.
Mr Neale told a business breakfast at Coral Sea Resort last friday that the project was expected to be completed in April next year.
He said the main street would be one lane only for some of the time during the construction and that the company would try to keep the disruption to a minimum.
He also said the company would be looking for local workers to assist with the project and there would be opportunities for local buisnesses.
Probuild Civil's community liaison officer Paul Spence said the company was looking forward to undertaking the project and wanted to work closely with the community to mitigate future delays and minimise disruptions where possible.
"We also encourage local businesses to contact us to discuss the provision of materials and equipment. Where possible, we want to involve the locals," he said.
Mr Spence said local residents and businesses were invited to a community information evening for the opportunity to meet some of the people who would be involved at street level throughout the duration of the project.
"We would like to introduce Probuild Civil to the community, provide some information relating to the stages of the project and also direct the community on how best to make enquiries," Mr Spence said.
The meeting will be held at 7.15pm next Wednesday, March 7, at the Whitsunday PCYC in Jubilee Pocket.
A 24 hour phone number has also been set up to receive calls from Monday to Saturday. The number is 4946 5240.