QLDC details CBD street work and tree removal
The Queenstown Town Centre street upgrades are progressing well, with several key milestones on the horizon as we head towards the busy summer trading season.
Queenstown Lakes District Council General Manager Property and Infrastructure, and Kā Huanui a Tāhuna Board Member Peter Hansby said that while there had been some disruption to the programme, the work was largely on track.
“We’re working in uncertain times so it’s important we can be agile in our approach to getting these important upgrades completed as quickly as possible. While the recent Alert Level 4 lockdown, delays in material shipment and getting crews re-established under COVID-19 protocols set us back a little, the team did manage to make some gains over Alert Level 3 when they were able to go back to work while most shops were still closed,” he said.
“We’ve also been working closely with the contractors to agree how we can keep up the momentum and hit some milestones ahead of the busy summer trading period. As a result the teams are working onsite for extra hours and over weekends, and are looking at all opportunities to complete quiet work, such as laying pavers, at night time,” he said.
Expected street upgrade milestones over the next three months include:
- Lower Beach Street is on track to be paved in time for the busy summer trading period. The first main concrete pour for the base of the new street will take place on Friday 24 September.
- The Upper Beach Street services will be complete and a concrete surface poured ahead of Christmas, ready for paving early in 2022. The street will reopen and be left as clear as possible over the holiday period.
- Park Street is on track to be completed ahead of Christmas.
To help the town centre be as welcoming as possible over the summer season, there will be no construction underway on Beach Street from 17 December until 24 January 2022. Construction fences will be removed and streets made safe, clean and attractive.
In further project updates, work to upgrade Brecon Street will start this week. The first stage of work will involve removing five Eucalyptus trees on Monday 27 September to allow for the construction of a 4m wide share path.
Mr Hansby acknowledged that trees are an important part of every community and that removing established trees can be an emotive issue.
“While these are established trees and add to the aesthetics of the area, they are not native nor are they located in a place the community might congregate for shade or shelter,” he said.
“The design team has explored alternative options but have not been able to make any of them work without compromising the root structure and impacting the health and safety of the trees. Removing these trees will allow us to make big improvements to our walking and cycling facilities, create a far better connection between Brecon Street and the town centre and make it considerably safer for people to access the attractions in the area,” Mr Hansby said.
“Retaining and improving the tree canopy throughout the town centre is an essential part of our street upgrade programme. New native species will be introduced throughout the town centre at greater numbers than we currently have in the area.
During the upgrade, Brecon Street will be closed to through traffic with access only available for pedestrians, business drop off and pick up and mobility parking. This work is expected to take around one year to complete. Work on Brecon Street will stop between 24 December and 10 January 2022.
Meanwhile in a further major milestone for the Queenstown community, construction of the Queenstown Town Centre Arterial Road (stage 1) will also start on Monday 27 September, starting with installation of underground services.
“From Monday the team will start constructing a stormwater outfall into Lake Whakatipu and a new stormwater line along Suburb Street, from Park Street to Frankton Road. This part of the work will be completed in 50m sections and take approximately three months,” Mr Hansby said.
Mr Hansby acknowledged the ongoing disruption in town at the moment and encouraged the community to keep the long term gains front of mind.
“The investment and construction happening in town right now is significant and it’s no secret that reduced access to parking, road closures and other disruptions can be challenging. We’re keeping up close contact with our business community and are grateful for the support, patience and open dialogue so far. We’re encouraging our whole community to keep supporting local and try to remember that very soon, we’ll have a town centre we’re all proud of and look forward to sharing with our visitors when they return,” he said.
The upgrade of Rees Street is planned to start in February next year. The project team will set up meetings with Rees Street business and property owners in November to explain the project timeframes and staging of construction. Further updates will be available then."
Main Image: Latest QLDC image showing the Brecon Street Upgrade.
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