WORK to transform Prestwich high street is causing minimal disruptions despite fears the scheme would cause traffic chaos.
The controversial scheme to redevelop Bury New Road, was widely opposed as residents and commuters raised concerns about traffic.
However, the works, which have started outside Aldi supermarket, reducing the road to a single lane in both directions, is so far causing minimal disruptions.
Council bosses admitted the £2 million project was delayed following a string of setbacks, which means the works may not meet the council’s November deadline.
Prestwich Cllr Mary D'Albert said there is still cause for concern as resurfacing works along the M60 are due to start later this month.
She said: "We're pretty amazed about just how many things seem to have gone wrong since the roadwork signs have gone.
“It seems amazing that the signs ever went up when so many things were still to be sorted.
“The scheme was widely opposed by Prestwich residents, even in the council's own consultation on the issue, but they have ploughed ahead even with all these problems.
“The major roadworks scheduled for Bury Old Road in May and with the motorway works at the same time this is surely too much for Prestwich residents and businesses to bear.”
Generally, work is taking place between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturday. On occasion some works will take place on Sundays and evenings.
A council spokesman said: “Contractors have commenced work to realign kerbs and to install new street lighting columns.
“Street trees will be a key part of the Prestwich regeneration scheme. As well as enhancing the appearance of the town centre, many of the trees will be planted in specially designed tree pits or trenches as part of an innovative scheme to take water off the highway.
“The trees will form part of a sustainable urban drainage system, which will circulate surface water through the network of pits and trenches allowing the trees to soak up much of the water and help clean out pollutants.
“Water not used by the trees will be returned to the traditional drainage system, cleaner and in lower volumes. A number of these tree pits have now been installed.
“As the scheme progresses local businesses will be kept fully informed of the work schedules and every attempt will be made to keep disruption to road users and pedestrians to a minimum.”
The scheme will include enhanced paving and street lighting and the planting of street trees and improved drainage bays, wider pavements and a cycle lane will be introduced. The road will also be reduced to one lane in each direction.