Source: Auckland Council
Auckland Council has this week confirmed that the delivery of the Hurstmere Road enhancement project is on track to be delivered in late 2021 as forecasted despite the financial challenges presented by COVID-19.
Earlier this year it was signalled through the Emergency Budget consultation that some stages of the project would need to be deferred due to the impact of COVID-19 on the council’s financial position.
In response to this, the project team have come up with a creative approach to complete the project in 2021 as planned, while also meeting the needs of the local retail community.
This approach means the construction pause already planned in December 2020 for the pre-Christmas retail period will be extended until early May 2021 to make way for Takapuna’s busy summer period and early 2021 scheduled events such as the America’s Cup racing and the popular Anzac Day parade and civic celebration.
All machinery and equipment will be removed from Hurstmere Road in December to keep the street open and attractive, with only minimal traffic management and signage remaining.
Councillor Richard Hills says it’s a good solution that will work for businesses, locals and visitors.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the council budget has been significant and it was looking like some stages of this important project were at risk. We’ve worked hard to come up with a solution that means it can still be completed in full within the original timeframe.
“This is a good outcome for local businesses as it means the critical Christmas trading period will not be interrupted by construction during Christmas 2020 or Christmas 2021, and Hurstmere Road will be free of construction during the America’s Cup when visitors are expected to flock to Takapuna to see the action on the water.
“I’m glad we were able to protect this big investment into our community and I look forward to the future water quality and streetscape improvements.”
With increased numbers of pedestrians expected over the busy summer season, the new laneway across Hurstmere Road that has been created between Takapuna Beach and Shore City will provide people with a safer way to move between the beach and the shops.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Chair Aidan Bennett says that locals are starting to see good progress being made with positive comments becoming more common.
“Hurstmere Road is a popular destination for locals and visitors from right around the Auckland region, and the new road layout plus the wider footpaths will make it a more people-friendly place to enjoy. The new seating that has already been installed shows that there will be prime spots to linger and soak up the vibrant summer atmosphere.
“I congratulate Auckland Council and the contractors for the great work they have been doing, despite the challenges, and staying on track with the project. The pause during the busy Christmas/summer trading and the America’s Cup festive months makes a great deal of sense.”
When the project resumes in May 2021, it will focus on the four remaining sections either side of Hurstmere Green and will be staged to limit disruption to business and pedestrians. A single lane of traffic will be maintained throughout the works.