The completion of the first project in Auckland Council’s $350 million Downtown Programme was celebrated in a dawn blessing today. Located in the vibrant Britomart Precinct, Galway Street is the first of the six projects to be fully opened to the public.
Councillor Chris Darby describes the completed street as a glimpse of what’s to come when the transformation of Downtown is complete; the key transport hub and gateway to the vibrant and diverse community of the city centre.
“The new Galway Street is another lively shared space that is attractive and accessible for the growing numbers of pedestrians moving around the central city. We have created a place for people in line with the City Centre Masterplan’s vision of a greener, better-connected city, full of beautiful public spaces.
“The improvements enable an easy summer stroll from the Britomart precinct through the new lower Queen St public space to Commercial Bay and the Waitematā waterfront, capturing city delights along the way,” Cr Darby says.
The transformation of the Britomart Precinct, including Galway Street, has centred on creating a pedestrian friendly environment to enhance the experience of people living, working and visiting the city centre.
The transformation of Galway Street has been delivered by a partnership between Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, and was fully funded by the City Centre Targeted Rate. The timing of the project was co-ordinated with Cooper and Company, developer of the Britomart Precinct, enabling Galway Street to be completed in time for the opening of Hotel Britomart.
Auckland Transport Executive General Manager Integrated Networks, Mark Lambert, says the street has been designed with people at its core with lush vegetation providing shade and comfortable street furniture flanking the new 5-star Hotel Britomart and new eateries.
“It is an inclusive and safe shared space for people with accessibility needs, people walking, riding bikes or scooters, and a 10km per hour safe speed restriction in place for all vehicles.”
Mr Lambert thanked and acknowledged the support of the residential and business community as they have patiently worked through construction disruption with project partners, the council and Auckland Transport.
“This has been a difficult year but with our works progressively being completed and opened to the public over the next six months, we hope that Aucklanders will be able to appreciate and enjoy our new world-class downtown area.”
The Downtown Programme is now 75 per cent complete with practical completion of all major works targeting April 2021.