Transformation of Taupō CBD set to start next month
A $20 million transformation of Taupō’s Central Business District is set to get underway following a successful application to the Government’s ‘shovel ready project’ fund.
The four-phase project aims to ‘transform our public places into people spaces to drive economic development’ and is expected to provide 92 full-time equivalent positions during its delivery.
The project will start with the upgrade of the Ruapehu and Tuwharetoa Street intersection, the fifth of eight town centre intersections to be transformed. Work will begin on Monday, August 10 and is expected to take 16 weeks. The upgrade of the Gascoigne and Paora Hapi Streets and Horomatangi and Ruapehu Streets will follow.
Phase two will be providing a safe and convenient alternative for vehicles not wanting to access the CBD using Titiraupenga Street, phase three the transformation of Tongariro Street from the Spa Road roundabout to Lake Terrace and from Lake Terrace to Titiraupenga Street, and phase four the development of an environment conducive to alfresco dining and social interaction in Tuwharetoa Street.
Chief executive Gareth Green said the project has been part of Council’s strategic planning since 2004 with two structure plans having been designed for the Taupō Town Centre, following consultation with the community.
“Council made the application to Crown Infrastructure Partners on the basis that communities need to have vibrant, attractive, liveable places to attract a skilled workforce.
“Taupō is blessed with outstanding natural assets but these need to be balanced with a quality urban environment. Good community infrastructure along with quality commercial activity contribute to the “look and feel” of the community and we hope will encourage people to linger longer in the heart of our town,” he said.
Mr Green said the council had not underestimated the affect the project would have on the community. “It is a significant project and as a result there will be periods of notable disruption while it is underway,” he said.
Timing of the different phases would be critical in ensuring disruption was limited as much as possible. “We will be doing all we can to work around things like events and busy times of the year but we have given our commitment to the Government to execute this project as quickly as possible as part of our district’s economic recovery. There will be some short-term pain but that will most certainly be for a long-term gain,” he said.
The project is expected to take about two years to complete.