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Plans to revamp Lorne Street area

MEDIA RELEASE

1 July 2004


Plans to revamp Lorne Street area

The draft concept plans for the $4.5 million revamp of the cultural Lorne Street area are available for public comment.

The draft plans cover the entire length of Lorne Street, from St Pauls Street to Victoria Street, including Rutland Street, Wellesley Street East, Kitchener Street and Khartoum Place.

Although the draft plans cover the entire area, the funding for the proposed upgrade focuses on Lorne Street from Victoria Street to Mayoral Drive and Khartoum Place.

Chairperson of Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne, says the aim of the upgrade is to transform the area into an attractive, user-friendly public space, with better pedestrian access between Queen Street, the Auckland Art Gallery, Central City Library and Albert Park up to the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The main features of the draft concept plan include:
- upgrading the paving and kerbstones throughout the area to a high quality bluestone, in a similar style to High Street
- introducing new white street lighting to make the area safer and more welcoming for pedestrians
- creating new steps and seating areas in front of the Central City Library and texturing the road surface to emphasise pedestrian priority and to slow traffic down
- converting the upper part of Lorne Street into a one way street with drop off zones and short term parking outside the new AUT facility
- widening the southern side of the footpath on the lower section of Rutland Street to create more space for the students who use the street
- adding a pedestrian crossing across Wellesley Street linking Lorne Street with the city’s main civic buildings and
- enhancing the existing planting on Lorne Street and planting more trees on Wellesley Street to reinforce the link between the city’s major parks – Victoria Park, Albert Park, Grafton Gully and the Domain.

Auckland City has commissioned local artist, Billy Apple, to prepare a concept design for an artwork in Khartoum Place. This will not be confirmed until the Auckland Art Gallery development has been sufficiently progressed. Other artworks are also proposed.

Mr Milne says the key issues identified during the initial public consultation process in February were the need for improved paving, more trees and resolving the conflict between the needs of pedestrians with the needs of traffic.

“I think these draft plans address the public’s concerns. We will be talking to property owners and other users of the area later this month to get their feedback and ensure that we have got it right,” he says.

Work will be carried out over three years, with $500,000 allocated for construction this year.

The upgrade is part of Auckland City’s Auckland CBD Into the Future strategy to revitalise Auckland’s CBD into one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

It is one of the key projects supporting the council’s draft vision for the Aotea Quarter. Auckland City plans to transform the area around Aotea Square into the city’s arts, culture and entertainment hub while retaining its civic and heritage elements.

Other proposed projects occurring in the area include the Queen Street, Aotea Square and Auckland Art Gallery upgrades.

Ends

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