THE re-opening of Kerang's main shopping strip to traffic is imminent.
The centre of Victoria Street has been closed to traffic while work proceeded on the $750,000 make-over, a project that has extended four weeks beyond the scheduled completion.
Temporary barriers will be in place when the two-way carriageway opens in coming days and footpath paving on the western side will continue after concrete was laid during the weekend.
A number of businesses have reported a sharp downturn in income despite each end of the block between Wellington and Scoresby Streets being open to traffic and footpaths remaining open. One business owner said that income had diminished to levels similar to 2011 when serious floods isolated the town.
Shire project engineer, Brent Heitbaum said that Victoria Street will be reopening to vehicle traffic mid-week and the parking reinstated despite the project work continuing.
"To allow the traffic to move through the site safely, water-filled barriers will be placed along both sides of the roadway to contain the traffic. These will remain in place until the garden bed retaining walls are placed and paving adjacent to the road is completed," he said.
"The barriers are being delivered on Monday afternoon and will be installed immediately. As soon as the grout is fully cured we will be able to allow traffic both ways."
Mr Heitbaum said that by returning to two-way traffic, council will be able to remove both turning circles and thus the majority of car parks that these took up will be reinstated.
"There may be some days where we will need to close a few car parks temporarily for construction access or deliveries, but this will be minimal and the parks freed up as soon as possible," he said.
Paving on the western side of the street will not affect pedestrian movements. As these pavers are much larger and don't need to take the weight of traffic they will be much quicker to lay.