Not how the locals like it

• Coolbellup IGA co-owner Rod King is going bananas about a nearby road closure.

A FAMILY-RUN IGA in Coolbellup is haemorrhaging $20,000 a week because of a road closure to accommodate a new Woolworths.

Coolbellup Avenue has been closed for more than three weeks so a new roundabout can be built to provide access to the soon-to-open Woolies on the corner of Waverley Road.

IGA co-owner Rod King reckons he’s down 1000 customers a week since works began.

He says drivers have to take a confusing diversion to reach his store in the Coolbellup Shopping Centre; with many getting lost and just giving up.

One local who contacted the Chook thought the shopping centre was shut because it was so difficult to access.

“I’ve had several people tell me it’s too hard to get here,” Mr King says.

“One Winthrop regular hasn’t been in for two weeks.”

Construction of the new roundabout was meant to have finished last week, but it is now due to be completed by Friday (November 2).

Mr King says he’s been preparing to compete with Woolies by offering “great deals” on fruit and veg, but now his IGA is in a $60,000 hole before the supermarket giant opens.

“We’re just a small, family-run business, so in terms of compensation we don’t have the funds to enter into a protracted legal battle,” Mr King says.

“I wouldn’t even know where to start, anyway.”

Cockburn council engineering director Charles Sullivan says the city approved the road closure, and without it the works could have taken three times as long.

“Prior to the approval of the closure the roadworks contractor, MGC Civil, informed the businesses in writing and verbally about the works and the need for the road to be closed for a few weeks,” he says.

“The alternative of maintaining single lane traffic flow under traffic control would have required the works to take 2-3 times longer.

“The reason for the roundabout is to continue to provide safe and efficient traffic movement at the Coolbellup Avenue/Counsel Road intersection which will change from being a 3-leg intersection to a 4-leg intersection with the new link to the Woolworths development site.

“The construction of the roundabout was a condition of development approval for the Woolworths supermarket.”

The new Woolies is expected to open around November 20.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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