Townsville’s Flinders St to re-open for traffic by June

In great news for businesses in Townsville’s city centre, the sorry tale of the Flinders St Mall will be over by June, when Flinders St re-opens for traffic for the first time in 30 years. City traders are hoping that bringing traffic back to Flinders St will re-establish it as a high street and make their shops visible and their wares enticing to passing motorists. The Townsville Bulletin reports:

THE new-look Flinders St will open to traffic by June.
Despite battling some of the worst weather the North has seen in years, construction workers have moved ahead in leaps and bounds on the project, with the bitumen seal finally laid at the western end.

Flinders Central redevelopment project manager Danny Lynch said the asphalt surface laying was a real achievement by workers.

“We’ll be able to soon see traffic back for the first time in 30 years,” he said.

The Flinders St Mall always struggled to be viable. Employment in Townsville is not as concentrated in the CBD as it is in Brisbane, so there was never a large population of city workers to sustain a concentration of retail businesses in the mall. Also Townsville’s oppressive heat and humidity meant that an open air mall was always at a disadvantage compared with the big air-conditioned shopping centres at Aitkenvale and the Willows. These centres were also much closer than the mall to the burgeoning population in the outer suburbs of Kirwan, Condon and Rasmussen.

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