Work to divert underground utilities services in preparation for the revamp of Stonehills began in Welwyn Garden City town centre on Monday (19 April).
The diversions are expected to take two weeks to complete ahead of the main works starting in Stonehills in July.
Whilst the road will remain open to traffic, three parking spaces and the footpath to the front of the former Debenhams unit will be closed throughout.
The main works start in July and will create a new public space at Stonehills’ northern end, complete with feature benches and planting of new trees, providing an ideal meeting spot for outdoor shopping, dining and events.
To enable works to be carried out safely, Stonehills will be closed to traffic from July to September. The phasing of the work has been developed to minimise disruption from October onwards in the run up to the key festive shopping period. All work is expected to be completed by November.
Pedestrian through routes and access to shops will be maintained throughout.
Mark Kemp. Director of Environment and Infrastructure at Hertfordshire County Council said: “The preparatory works will pave the way for exciting changes ahead. Revamping this key shopping area will create new opportunities for local business to use the outdoor space, boosting the town’s footfall and post-lockdown recovery. We’re really pleased to be starting work and will be doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum.”
Nick Long, Corporate Director at WHBC, said: “This transformation will improve the town centre environment for shoppers, pedestrians and cyclists, supporting our local economy as we emerge from lockdown. It will create an inviting community space that brings people together, with design touches and new planting that reflect WGC’s unique heritage and character.”