Alliance to rip up Queenstown CBD pavers after $100,000 error

by Kim Bowden - Apr 15, 2024

Work is scheduled to begin today to fix a $100,000 mistake on a section of Queenstown CBD road constructed just a year ago.

In April 2023 pavers were installed where Duke Street meets Shotover Street and now 20 square metres of them will be ripped up and relaid.

The issue is that some buses are scraping the surface of the road as they drive onto a raised area adjacent to the intersection that is covered with the pavers. 

A spokesperson for the Queenstown Lakes District Council says the grade of the ramp is slightly steeper than originally specified.

"Smaller vehicles – cars, vans and campers – don’t seem to be affected."

They say, to fix the issue, the alliance is reconstructing the ramp at a shallower grade.

Upgrades to Duke Street, that included the problematic ramp, were part of a drawn-out, multimillion-dollar revamp of Queenstown's central streets that started in early 2021.

An alliance - Kā Huanui a Tāhuna - comprised of the council and New Zealand Transport Agency as well as businesses Downer, Fulton Hogan, WSP and Beca delivered the work, made possible by central government's Covid-19 response shovel-ready fund.

Buses bottoming out alerted the alliance to the issue, and a subsequent investigation identified the cause.

"The ramp wasn’t constructed to the grade specified in its design drawings," the spokesperson says.

"Whilst this is regrettable, the alliance is committed to putting it right."

While attempts will be made by workers to save the existing pavers for other use, the spokesperson acknowledges they will be difficult to pull up and separate from the bedding material intact.

"Notwithstanding that, the project team has sufficient replacement pavers stored and won’t need to buy any more."

It is unknown at this point whether a beam put in place under the road to support the ramp will also need to be reworked or replaced.

The alliance is telling people to expect 'intermittent loud noise and vibration' during the three weeks of construction work.

"Once the beam originally constructed is exposed and the new grade set on site, the alliance will know for sure if the beam needs to be reconstructed," the spokesperson says.

The work comes with an approximate price tag of $100,000.

Local businesses and residents have been advised they should expect 'intermittent loud noise and vibration' during the work, which is expected to take three weeks to complete.

Over that time, Duke Street will be closed to general traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Camp Street between Shotover and Man Streets will also be off limits to vehicles, although pick-ups and drop-offs outside The Station Building will be available.

A map showing the road closures, set to start today, Monday, April 15, and run until Monday, May 6, 2024.

Main image: Buses are scraping pavers laid on raised section of Duke Street in Queenstown's CBD and it will cost approximately $100,000 to fix what project managers admit is a mistake.

Read more: Roading alliance changes story on reason for ripping up road

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