QLDC: CBD work finished by Xmas (almost)

by Peter Newport - Aug 16, 2022

The Queenstown Lakes District Council says that the $63 million upgrade of the Queenstown CBD will be finished by Christmas – with a small amount of work to be finished February – March 2023. $35 million of the cost is covered by Central Government with the remainder coming from local ratepayers.

Included in the “finished by Christmas” list are:

  • Lower Beach Street
  • Upper Beach Street
  • Park Street
  • Lower Brecon Street / Brian Smith Park
  • Rees Street.

There will be a shutdown period between Dec 24, 2022, and January 23, 2023 after which any remaining work such as tree planting and seating will be completed.

Crux asked QLDC for a detailed update on the famously long-winded work, here’s their reply.

“The last underground utilities in Rees Street are being laid this week along with the conduit to feed electricity to the street lights. The completion of underground work then enables us to begin preparing the ground levels which in turn enables us to lay concrete and pavers.

Upper Beach Street this week - spotting significant progress is challenging

“We are working 24 hours a day, five days a week to progress the upgrade of Rees Street as quickly as possible. The support of night-time focused businesses, including Surreal Bar and Pog Mahone’s, along with Eichardt’s, is instrumental to us achieving this.

“With regard to Upper Beach Street, all concrete has been laid and large areas of paving are almost complete. Small sections that tie into store entrances are also progressing well.

"These achievements are being made while we continue work in a challenging environment caused by well-publicised labour shortages, staff absences due to winter illness and COVID-19, and global supply chain issues.”

The western end of Rees Street is showing signs of progress.

Crux also asked QLDC if there were any penalties for the work taking so long and if there had been any legal action from disrupted retailers.

“The (construction and council) parties to the agreement have collective responsibility for project delivery. We have always maintained an open-door policy when it comes to listening to local retailers and businesses, and our stakeholder manager provides regular progress updates.”

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