ARMSTRONG Street North traders have applauded the contractors working on $1 million shopping strip upgrade.
This comes after previous criticism surrounding the revamping of the popular precinct on the northern side of Sturt Street.
The works, which are expected to be completed by mid-July, have previously attracted criticism for the loss of 17 car parks and poor consultation with traders.
However, multiple traders told The Courier the contractors had gone out of their way to make the process as problem-free as they could.
“It has been better than I thought it would,” Classic Selection owner Calvyn Nicholls said.
On Monday morning, trees which originally lined the median strip were cut down to be replaced by 15 advanced trees.
City of Ballarat chief executive Anthony Schinck said each of the new trees would have root guards to ensure they did not damage the road surface in the future.
“An empty conduit is also being installed to allow for bud lighting in the future, when the trees reach a suitable height,” he said.
The old trees had stunted growth and their roots had began to damage the road, Mr Schinck said.
The $1 million revamp will also include removing the parking spaces in the centre of the street, replacing all parking with angle parks, along with improving the footpath.
The works were originally due to start in February, however they were delayed until the end of April.
“All footpath works are complete, with only the footpath outstands left to be completed,” Mr Schinck said.
“Following these works, the contractors will move to complete the centre median and the road surfacing.”
World Wide Spices co-owner Diane Murray admitted some shoppers had tended to stay away from the area while the works were being completed.
However, she said contractors had been mindful of how much of the street they had blocked off.
“They have been really efficient,” she said.
Ms Murray said it was important the replacement trees were mature to help provide some shade.
“They are going for a certain look, for it to be all uniform,” she said.