Karangahape Road’s heritage-rich neighbourhood has become supercharged with renewal in recent times, as the area moves closer to its future as a vibrant city neighbourhood and one of Auckland’s busiest transit hubs.
Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council, with additional funding from Waka Kotahi (NZTA), are synchronising with City Rail Link Ltd (CRL) to deliver a concurrent schedule of complex, large-scale construction projects.
With the CRL’s Karangahape Station taking shape underground, two CRL station entrances emerging on either side of the historic ridge, light rail back on central government’s transport agenda, and the AT-led street enhancements now complete, there’s a feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: “It's great to have the enhancements of Karangahape Road completed. It is a much more pedestrian-friendly and cycle-friendly area, more attractive and more environmentally sustainable."
For context, Auckland Council Principal Urban Designer George Weeks points to the City Centre Masterplan vision for the Karangahape precinct and Transformational move 5: Transit oriented development.
The masterplan sees Karangahape becoming a pedestrian-priority area anchored by two entrances to a significant underground rail station bringing an estimated 60,000 passengers to the area every day.
Designers have been mindful of the need to be respectful caretakers of the unique character, history and heritage of Karangahape Road.
Auckland Transport and Auckland Council would like to thank locals for their patience and understanding as the work has temporarily changed the rhythm of the street, but in June the first stage of that vision was delivered.
At a dawn blessing, civic opening and walk-through, mana whenua, Karangahape Road champions, business leaders and contributing artists joined Minister for Transport Hon. Michael Wood, Mayor Phil Goff and other dignitaries to officially open the enhanced street.
Aucklanders will experience wide footpaths for greater freedom of pedestrian movement, peak-hour bus lanes, a separated cycleway, native planting, rain gardens and many elements reflecting the area’s early history, which have been brought to the design by mana whenua.
“The elements brought to the design by mana whenua enrich the streetscape and pay tribute to the character and history of this much-loved area,” says Mayor Goff.
On 26 June, Aucklanders will celebrate the Karangahape Road Enhancements in an event created by the Karangahape Business Association with characteristic energy, colour, style, vibrancy and inclusion.