Two new projects are about to kick off in Birkenhead – a main street upgrade and permanent stabilisation work at the Rawene Road car park.
Both projects will be carefully coordinated between council project teams to minimise disruption to shoppers, local businesses and commuters.
During construction, pedestrian access to all shops and businesses will remain open.
Main street upgrade project
The main street upgrade project is the final project in a series to revitalise Birkenhead town centre.
When completed, there will be wider footpaths, more planting and improved public open space. These improvements will make it safer and more enjoyable for visitors to get around and enjoy the Birkenhead town centre.
Existing vegetation, including the large Norfolk pine, will be retained and complemented with additional planting, new street furniture, paving, and improved street lighting. A deck and seating will be built on the grass area beneath the pine.
Earlier related town centre improvement projects include the construction of Kaimataara ō Wai Manawa – an award-winning, split-level viewing platform and café on Birkenhead Avenue, and the recently completed boardwalk connection between Le Roys Bush and the Birkenhead Town Centre.
Auckland Transport will close some lanes and divert traffic at various times during construction. The project is expected to be completed in December 2018.
Rawene Road car park – permanent stabilisation work
Permanent stabilisation work is now getting underway at the Rawene Road car park. These works follow on from the emergency works undertaken over the Christmas and New Year period to halt slip activity at the site.
The first phase of works will involve making the upper slope safe to work on and a tidy-up of the previous emergency works along the crest. It will also include cutting sheet piles and constructing a concrete capping beam to tie the sheet piles together. When that has been completed, a new all-weather working platform will be created.
The work will require the closure of much of the Rawene Road public car park and the private access lane behind the Mokoia Road shops at the top of the slip zone. Some public car park spaces will be available from time to time but these will vary throughout the works.
Some of the car park spaces will also be used for a site office and a ‘lay down’ area for the Birkenhead main street upgrade project to avoid taking up valuable parking spaces on the main roads.
As the first phase of works progresses, private parking behind the Mokoia Road shops will be re-opened as it is safe to do so. It is anticipated that the western end of the private lane will be opened first, as the eastern end of the site will provide access to the slip and gully for the entire duration of the works.
The second phase of works will get underway in spring and involve rebuilding the slope with natural materials from the bottom up, secured by a buried row of piles at the base of the slope.
The final detailed design of the replacement public car park is yet to be confirmed but is expected to provide additional parking spaces and be built slightly lower down the slope than the previous car park. This approach allows a quicker and less expensive build, while ensuring future development of the site is not compromised.
The third and final phase of the works will involve restoration of the gully floor, including on private land. This work will be undertaken over the summer months following consultation with relevant landowners.
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If you need to report issues during the construction of the two projects, please contact council’s call centre on 09 301 0101.