$20 million Government injection for CBD transformation
Taupō’s Central Business District is set to be transformed following today’s announcement that Taupō District Council has been granted $20 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group.
The transformation of the Taupō Town Centre was one of 16 projects the council applied for funding for as part of the Crown Infrastructure Partners call for ‘shovel ready’ projects.
Mayor David Trewavas said the announcement was fantastic news for the district as it would provide the equivalent of 92 full time jobs, and an economic boost, as it gave effect to the implementation of the council’s Commercial Industrial Structure Plan.
“The plan was developed in 2011 but essentially it has sat in the bottom drawer due to a lack of funding. Today’s announcement means we can finally give effect to connecting the CBD to the lake, Tongariro Domain and the boat harbour, so it really will be a game changer,” he said.
“This funding is the result of a lot of hard work put in by the team, and associated lobbying, to ensure our district was at the forefront of people’s minds in Wellington and those involved should be congratulated.”
Chief executive Gareth Green said the multi-year CBD project would mean a reorientation of the street network to shift local through-traffic from Lake Terrace and Tongariro St to Titiraupenga St and Spa Rd. “This will require upgrades along Spa Rd, Paora Hapi St, and Titiraupenga St including five intersections and associated works to allow for the flow of traffic while encouraging pedestrian and cyclists to access the town centre.
“The project also provides for the revitalisation of the existing intersections along Ruapehu St with the focus on addressing pedestrian and driver safety issues to complete and enhance the sense of place unique to Taupo CBD,” he said.
The reorganisation of traffic flows would allow Tuwharetoa St to be turned into an “eat street” destination to attract people and provide alfresco dining opportunities that are safe, inviting and commercially viable.
“It will also create an opportunity for public/private investment and cooperation and provide places where people meet to do business and enjoy the social atmosphere,” said Mr Green.
“Turning them into quality places is a critical part of attracting people to spend time in the town centre with the associated social and economic benefits. Once the street network is transformed the other parts of council’s strategic planning can fall into place. It will also deliver on the community’s aspirations for an attractive town centre with shared streets focused on the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.”
Work on the project is expected to start next month.