“This is great – I don’t feel like I’m in a bird cage any more,” said co-proprietor of MJ’s Newsagency Melissa Richardson on Friday.

Melissa was commenting on the dismantling of the protective wire mesh fences which had surrounded the Maitland Street roadworks.

She and other business owners have looked out at a two metre wire mesh fence at their front door for the past weeks.

But the fences are down and the eastern side of Maitland street is re-opened and busy with traffic once again.

Maitland Street was busy with cars nose to tail and parking at a premium on Saturday morning as shoppers thronged the street.

“It’s like driving on carpet,” one impressed motorist said.

The Maitland Street makeover is the biggest-ever road reconstruction project in Narrabri’s CBD.

Asphalting of stage one, between Lloyd and Dewhurst Streets on the east side has been completed. The CBD is open and fully accessible now until January 4 next year when work on stage two of the multimillion-dollar project will start.

Narrabri Shire Council has announced that the area will be closed briefly for line marking over the next few weeks after the asphalt has had time to cure. The line marking will mark the completion of stage one.

“Council thanks the business community for their patience while stage one work was underway and wishes business owners the best for a prosperous Christmas shopping period,” a spokesman said. The council reminded business owners to be mindful of parking zones in the CBD and surrounding areas.

“Council received several complaints regarding CBD business owners and staff parking in the CBD during stage one works. Council understands that while work is being undertaken, parking spaces are limited and the inconveniences this causes businesses and the community. Council’s compliance officers will be monitoring these areas now the CBD has reopened to all traffic. Please try and avoid parking for extended periods in the CBD .”

To order photos from this page click here