Roundabouts to be removed as part of Florence Street upgrade

Concept designs for Cairns Regional Council’s $10.5 million Florence Street Link project have revealed a tropical, trellised thoroughfare with no roundabouts.

Traffic lights will replace the roundabouts at Lake and Abbott Streets, which council officers say have contributed to ten crashes in the past seven years, the majority involving cyclists.

Town planner Nikki Huddy from Planz Town Planning, told Tropic Now the design makes sense.

“Currently, it’s not pedestrian friendly and those roundabouts don’t work,” she said.

“Roundabouts aren’t good for tourists and you have a lot of small fender benders.

“Plus, the treatment of those intersections is calming.”

The revitalisation also includes dedicated cycle lanes, median strip gardens and LED street lights, along with additional street tree plantings and gardens to create more shade.

Concept drawings show vine-covered trellised pathways, along with a covered walkway to the Aquarium frontage.

“The extra shade is fantastic and also new seating is a big one,” Ms Huddy said.

“It’ll assist with car parking because people will no longer mind parking so far away.

“The other thing that’s nice is that it was done locally, through our local architects.

“It’s building our local expertise and we’ve got great tropical ideas.”

Other features include:

• road and car parking bay reconfigurations

• road pavement improvements

• kerb and channel renewals

• contemporary, attractive lighting of trees and other features

The revitalisation is aimed at providing a better connection between the Esplanade, CBD shopping and dining precincts and new attractions in Florence Street, including the Cairns Performing Arts Precinct.

Councillors will vote on the project launch approval at tomorrow’s general meeting.

If endorsed, preliminary work could begin next month, including the replacement of water mains.

The roundabout removal is scheduled to occur over the Christmas school holidays and the entire project is expected to take 12 months.