The work – the next phase in a £6m programme of improvements to public realm space in Altrincham town centre – had originally begun last May with a scheduled completion date of late October.
But the project – which has seen the implementation of a new street layout including the widening of footpaths, decluttering of existing furniture and planting of new trees – has been beset by delays.
First there was the announcement in September that the project would be running three months late due to what Trafford Council called “a number of external factors”.
It said that contractor J Cooney Ltd had encountered issues including “unforeseen services, underground structures and supply of materials” and that the number of intended trees would also need to be scaled back.
A further delay – until April – was announced in January and the situation turned to farce last week when a previously relaid granite strip in the middle of the road was dug up again when it materialised it had been set at the wrong level.
The disruption has had a huge impact on the businesses in the affected area – between the junctions with Cross Road and Regent Road – and they will be desperately hoping that the work has a pretty instant impact on footfall on the road.
The council, too, will be under pressure to prove that their costly investment – at a time of council tax rises and garden waste charges – is rewarded with a tangible up-tick in the appeal of one of Altrincham’s main arteries for both businesses and visitors.
At the time of announcing the work, Trafford Council Leader Sean Anstee said: “The latest development is another step in the huge investment the council is making to transform our town centres.
“Along with the iconic Altair development and by working with our partners and the local business community, we are ensuring Trafford’s town centres are vibrant and attractive areas that people will want to visit and invest in.”