Fix-it jobs underway on Alliance's Queenstown CBD upgrades

by Kim Bowden - May 15, 2024

Businesses in the Queenstown CBD could be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu as workers in high-vis and with road cones reappear on newly-laid shared spaces.

Contractors working for the alliance charged with upgrades to the central precinct finished last year are back and working their way through a list of fix-it jobs.

A spokesperson for the Queenstown Lakes District Council tells Crux it is called "snagging work".

There's enough of it hanging over from the $60-million project it warrants a dedicated section on the council's website, which the spokesperson directed Crux to in response to questioning on it.

The council says, "After construction, there’s a two-year period where we monitor and continue any ongoing maintenance or tweaks to what’s been constructed". 

"We do this to ensure that everything is working as we intended."  

On a walk-about in town today, Crux spotted missing pavers cut out of six spots on Rees Street - outside Pog Mahone's Irish Pub and further along, near the Beach Street intersection.

The council says pavers with holes in them are being replaced and regrouted, after street furniture was shifted.

Meanwhile outside the Elle and Riley store on Beach Street, Crux came across a crew at work removing part of a permeable concrete base around a tree.

We're told, it has been obstructing delivery vehicles.

Further down Beach Street towards Earnslaw Park, two large rubber mats are covering holes in the pavement housing a water valve - why? The council needs to modify the manhole lid, making it smaller to provide easier access, it says.

One retailer tells Crux they have made a complaint as it is their view the mats are creating a tripping hazard for visitors to their premises.

Crux has not asked the council for costs for each of these latest remedial tasks.

At the end of April, Crux reported on the $100,000 price tag attached to remedial work on Duke Street's pavers that were catching the bottoms of tour buses driving over them.

Then, a council spokesperson told us the council has money budgeted for "any required remedial work" and that figure is "based on the alliance's 'cost to complete' the project".  

The alliance being referred to is Kā Huanui a Tāhuna - comprised of the council and New Zealand Transport Agency as well as businesses Downer, Fulton Hogan, WSP and Beca - which is delivering a handful of infrastructure projects in and around Queenstown, including the CBD upgrades.

In June 2023 the council hosted a public ceremony to officially open the upgraded CBD streets, after two-and-a-half years of construction works.

Main images: A construction crew cuts concrete around a tree on Beach Street (top left); rubber mats cover a water valve as a manhole lid is resized on Beach Street (top right); rubber mats reveal missing pavers on Rees Street (bottom).




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