Queen St design confirmed

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Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne has just confirmed the new Queen St upgrade design.

The design aims to turn Queen St into a low-speed, pedestrian-focused environment.

Construction is due to begin in August this year to replace ageing pipe infrastructure under Queen Street and to lower the centre of the road. The street’s surface will be replaced from shop front to shop front as part of the work, which is needed to minimise the risk of flooding in future during heavy rain.

The Tasman District Council has agreed to a concept design for the reinstated street that includes wider footpaths and a continuous smooth surface with no kerb and channel.

Richard says the plan to change the shape of the street to better control stormwater during floods, provided an opportunity to make Queen Street safer, more pedestrian-friendly and attractive.

“The design concept will improve safety by promoting slower traffic speeds, and providing zebra crossings at key points. The continuous surface eliminates trip hazards for those with limited mobility and also adds to the pedestrian feel of the street – which contributes to slower traffic speeds as well. Wider footpaths provide a clear line of travel and also offer an opportunity for outdoor dining, trees for shade, and spaces for people to meet and mingle.

“Because we will be lowering the centre of the road to divert water away from shops and businesses during heavy rain, putting the street back exactly as it is now is not actually an option,” says Richard. “Instead, we will have an enhanced street that is better able to cope with a major flood, within the existing budget.”

Richard says feedback from a wide range of groups, including Accessibility for All, Positive Ageing, the Blind Citizens Group, Richmond schools, Richmond Unlimited and emergency services, as well as the 140 public comments received, had been key to developing the concept design.

The next step in the project is detailed design, which will include elements such as lighting, seating, plantings and signage.

“We’ll be talking to those groups some more as part of that process, and throughout the construction phase of the project as well.”

Council staff will meet with business and property owners, emergency services, bus companies, utilities providers and others to discuss the timing and details of the construction programme over the next few months.