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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) will enter into an alliance to deliver a number of cornerstone projects in Wakatipu.

The projects include the Queenstown Town Centre Street Upgrades, Stage 1 of the Town Centre Arterial Road, both jointly funded through the government’s Shovel Ready Fund and QLDC, and public transport focused projects on SH6 and SH6A, funded through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. Implementation phases of Stage One of the Wakatipu Active Travel Network are also to be included.

QLDC General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby said the two organisations have already worked together closely and the new alliance would build on recent planning processes to deliver important transport infrastructure for the region.

“There has been significant government funding announced over the past six months to deliver major improvements in Queenstown, including $90m as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme and a further $85m through the ‘Shovel Ready’ fund towards our Town Centre Street Upgrades and Stage 1 of the long-awaited arterial road.”

“It was important that we looked carefully at how to move forward, out of the planning phases and into the delivery of these projects.  It was determined that an alliance model between QLDC and Waka Kotahi would allow us to achieve the integration and customer focus required to ensure the success of these projects for the community,” Mr Hansby said. 

Robyn Elston, Waka Kotahi senior manager System Design said the alliance model would assist in providing industry with certainty and ensure the suite of infrastructure projects had a lasting economic, social and positive environmental impact.

“The benefits of this work won’t end when the projects do. Residents and visitors will benefit from safer, more accessible places that offer real choice in how people get around.”

“The alliance will work closely with our partners and stakeholders and engage with them early.  We will succeed when we all work together.”

“This programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the wider Wakatipu economy and support the region to recover from the effects of COVID-19.”

Industry has been advised with Advance Notice on the project with the Request for Proposal due to be issued at the end of this month. The intent is to have the alliance set up before Christmas, in time to start the main construction of the Town Centre Street Upgrades after the summer holiday period and detailed design on Stage 1 of the Town Centre Arterial project.

Project background

Jointly funded by the government’s Shovel Ready fund ($35m) and QLDC ($25m), Queenstown Town Centre Street Upgrades project will to transform Brecon Street, Rees Street, Beach Street, Park Street and Hotops Rise into slower speed, high quality public spaces that are safe, vibrant and accessible, weaving in local cultural storytelling. Further information including renders and key design elements, can be found here: link)

Also from the Shovel Ready fund, the government is providing $50m towards delivering Stage 1 of the Town Centre Arterial Road, supported by a further $16m local investment.  The new road will be designed in a way that supports the removal of general traffic from Stanley Street, unlocking a range of other investments that will vastly improve the town centre experience for locals and visitors.  QLDC is currently seeking to designate the full route under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-Track Consenting) Act 2020; further details on this can be found here: link)

The $90m New Zealand Upgrade Programme Package for Queenstown provides bus lanes and bus priority on SH6A, a new bus hub on SH6, improvements to the SH6a/SH6 intersection, a new roundabout at Howards Drive and an underpass at Ladies Mile to provide better walking and cycling connections. These improvements are part of the $6.8 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme transport investment to improve travel choices, get our cities and regions moving and boost productivity in the country’s growth areas:

$14m was approved by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to deliver stage one of the Wakatipu Active Travel Network.  This includes routes from Jack’s Point to Frankton and from Lake Hayes Estate North through Frankton to Frankton Track. More details available here: link)