After unscheduled delays and a number of setbacks, Auckland’s multi-million dollar Lorne Street Upgrade is due for completion before October 30.
Ian Rae, infrastructure development leader of CBD streetscapes at Auckland Transport, says after a delayed start and infrastructural issues the project – originally costed at more than $10 million – has run smoothly for the past two months.
“We had some issues, there’s no question about that. But they’re all behind us now.
“It’s all done but for dusting the cake and lighting the candles, so to speak. It’s all pretty much there.”
Rae says the project was largely delayed due to an undergound water main sitting too high.
“We had to go through the lengthy process of getting that lowered. That’s one of the risks you end up getting involved with sometimes.”
He says he will be pleased to see the project completed after the hurdles faced.
“So will the residents, too, I think.”
Kristian Larsen, building manager of the Regency apartments in Lorne St, says he is thrilled the road works will be over soon.
“Pleased is an understatement.
“I’ll be very, very, very happy and then I hope they leave us alone for a long, long time.”
Bevan Cutler, part-owner of the Rutland Street Café, says the project’s completion will come as a relief to his business.
“Having jackhammers and concrete saws and those things running outside the shops hasn’t exactly been ideal.”
He said the two-month delay hadn’t helped.
“It affected our ability to trade quite considerably, so the longer it dragged on the more it cost us.”
Larsen says he was a little disappointed to see the finished product featured tar-sealed roads instead of cobbled streets, such as the ones outside the nearby Auckland City Library.
“I think the tar seal looks a bit naff against the cobbles, to be honest. It just doesn’t look as good as the cobbles would.”
Rae says this is because unlike the area outside the library, the areas in Lorne St and Rutland St are not shared spaces.
He says the tar-sealed finish is to differentiate the roads from a shared space, while bringing a similar look and feel.
“The bit in the southern end is not shared space – it’s only the bit outside the library that’s shared space.
“It’s a bit smarter than normal but for all intents and purposes it functions as a road.”
Cutler says he’s satisfied with the finished product.
“I think it’s nice. I think it’s a little bit bleak still, but it’s certainly a lot better than what it was.”
Larsen says he is looking forward to seeing some of the smarter new features of the road when the project is completed.
“I’ll be keen to see the lights and under lighting up and running, and all of that. I’ll be keen to see the finished product.”