Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Could This Happen In Mount Druitt To Westfield Car Parks - Westpoint Balcktown Carparks - Blacktown Advocate
WESTPOINT has revealed pillars in the recently closed section of its carpark were not providing “required support” for it to operate safely, as Blacktown Council explores extra parking options.
WESTPOINT has revealed pillars in the recently closed section of its carpark were not providing “required support” for it to operate safely.
The shopping centre closed more than half of its carpark on August 3 with little notice after tests uncovered structural issues that were deemed a serious safety risk.
It remains unclear when the carpark will be reopened, but centre manager Agata Rynkiewicz said rigorous testing had confirmed the root of the problem.
“What we do know now is that sections of the carpark’s columns are currently not providing the required support to allow us to safely operate the impacted carpark sections,” she said.
Specialist engineers and concrete technologists have spent the past month inspecting the site.
Ms Rynkiewicz said the centre would await the specialists’ final findings before making a decision on the next steps.
“While we understand the desire of many in our community to receive immediate information, our team’s core objective is to ensure the information we share is accurate,” she said.
The closure, which has affected about 2400 parking spots, has caused significant disruption for both shoppers and retailers.
Blacktown Council is considering several options to help ease traffic congestion and open up parking spaces in the CBD, in a bid to keep customers flowing to the centre.
Options discussed by the council’s traffic committee included introducing weekend time restrictions in the adjacent Kmart carpark to increase turnover in parking spots on weekends. The council also plans to temporarily close the exit from the Kmart carpark from Alpha St to stop traffic backing up at the roundabout.
Changes to weekend parking at Colo Lane and Newtown Rd carparks could deliver more than 500 customer options, while Blacktown Showground was floated to cater for 660 Westpoint staff.
Mayor Stephen Bali said it was critical the traffic woes were fixed quickly to support local businesses.
Ms Rynkiewicz said the centre had implemented several measures to including on-site traffic controllers, a dedicated carpark assistance team, signage and live parking updates.
“We have also bolstered our Customer Service support staff, who are available at new pop-up customer service desks throughout the centre as well as throughout the car parks,” she said.