Some welcome news for people visiting and working in the city centre: from tomorrow, Thursday 23 June, Elizabeth Street will once again be open to two-way traffic.
A lane closure had been in place between Grey Street and Devonport Road to enable upgrades to Elizabeth Street and surrounds, led by Tauranga City Council, and the construction of Thirty-Eight Elizabeth.
While work on both projects continues, Elizabeth Properties Limited and Council have worked together to reduce the size of the construction site, to allow the road to open again.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley wants to thank the community, and especially the businesses in the area, for their patience.
“All of the exciting developments underway in Tauranga’s city centre promise a bright future for Tauranga, but we know how disruptive transformation of this scale can be – especially for those who live, work, and operate in the midst of it every day,” says Anne.
“We hope opening the road back up in this key area of the city will bring a bit of normality back to life on Elizabeth Street and make it easier for people to move around the city centre again.”
The main feature of the Elizabeth Street upgrade is a new ‘linear park’, a landscaped, widened footpath which will run along the street from the Grey Street roundabout to Devonport Road. It will later be extended to the eastern end of Elizabeth Street down to the harbour’s edge.
The widened footpath will feature mature trees, shrubs and lawn, lighting, play elements, and seating for people to take a break during their working day, or halfway through their shopping stint.
Other improvements include upgraded intersections and new pedestrian crossings on Devonport Road, First Avenue and Elizabeth Street, streetlighting and landscaping, water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, and the installation of state-of-the-art stormwater treatment units to protect our harbour.
The first stage of the linear park, from Devonport Road to the pedestrian crossing outside Event Cinemas, is generally complete. The second stage, from the pedestrian crossing to Grey Street, will get underway once the crane and scaffolding at Thirty-Eight Elizabeth have been removed. The remaining streetscape works are projected to take another four months to complete.
About the streetscape upgrade
The upgrade of Elizabeth Street aims to create an attractive and safe, people-friendly environment for everyone to enjoy. It will deliver a pedestrian-focused, slow-speed environment for Elizabeth Street and its surrounds. The upgrade will contribute to the ‘green necklace’ of connected walkways in the city centre and reflects the redevelopment of this key area of our city as a place for people. This project is part of council’s continuing focus on bringing life back to the city centre and create a great place to live, work, learn and play. It aims to improve the amenity of the city centre to support investment in residential development and attract new businesses.