Beaufort Street: Locals encouraged to drop by pop-up during water works

Water Corp spokeswoman Clare Lugar and Larissa Stanley (Senior Advisor Community Engagement) at their pop-up shop. It's in place to provide more information during the big roadworks going on to replace the old pipes down Beaufort Street. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492366
Water Corp spokeswoman Clare Lugar and Larissa Stanley (Senior Advisor Community Engagement) at their pop-up shop. It's in place to provide more information during the big roadworks going on to replace the old pipes down Beaufort Street. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492366

WHILE Beaufort Street’s 100-year-old water main is replaced, locals can drop by a pop-up shop with any burning questions.

The Water Corporation’s Highgate shop will be in place while 2km of the busy street are closed in stages for the once-in-a-century works.

Spokeswoman Clare Lugar said the project was set to finish mid-year.

“We’ll be putting extra crews on, doing whatever it takes,” she said.

“It’s once in 100 years, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that while we’re here there are some inconveniences – we always try and get in and out as fast as we can.”

Ms Lugar said at the beginning of projects, people often would not see much activity.

“That’s usually because we spend a lot of time trying to locate what’s already underground and that takes ages – we have to find gas, electrical cables, telecommunications – if you start digging and have a look down there to see what’s underneath, it’s like spaghetti,” she said.

“We’ve got to find our water mains in the middle of that and be very careful.”

Senior advisor Larissa Stanley said there had been a mixed response to the previous Beaufort Street stage, but being physically in the area was helping.

“All in all, people are pleased to be having a face to face conversation with someone,” she said.

Ms Stanley said anyone was welcome to come into the pop-up shop with queries.

“If they want to talk about any concerns or rumours they’ve heard, or if they’ve heard different conversations from people on the street, we’re here to embed ourselves in the community and have those conversations and listen,” she said.

Ms Lugar said while the Water Corporation had done a number of pipe replacements across the city, Beaufort Street had been identified as particularly unique.

“We need to step things up a bit and do more than what we’ve done in the past,” she said.

An arts project is currently underway in the area in conjunction with the Beaufort Street Network to encourage people to explore and maintain foot traffic to businesses – people will be able to vote for their favourite art to go up on the mesh fencing, with others put in a gallery at the pop-up shop.

The pop-up shop is located at 497 Beaufort Street, Highgate.