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First tram tracks laid in City Mall

Christchurch City Council Media Release 25 September 2008

First tram tracks laid in City Mall

Tram tracks will be laid in City Mall today in the first stage of the Christchurch City Council’s extension to the city’s tramway.

Sixty-three metres of steel tracks, cut in nine-metre lengths, will be laid in the Cashel Street work site, outside Ballantynes, from this morning. The tracks will be welded and concreted in place from next week. Tracks will be laid along the length of City Mall as work progresses.

This is the first stage of the extension to the Christchurch tramway, the subject of public consultation earlier in the year. A decision has not yet been made on the final route the extended tramway will take, however the Council agreed in June that it would run along Cashel and High Streets and that the work should be included in the City Mall project because savings could be made.

The proposed tram extension route was the subject of public consultation in March following a Council resolution last year to investigate extending the tram route to incorporate Oxford Terrace, City Mall (Cashel and High Streets), Colombo Street and Cathedral Square, joining the existing line at Cathedral Square. The proposed route released for consultation had included the tram continuing along Cashel Street and turning at High and Manchester streets.
Dave Hinman, the Council’s Principal Advisor Central City and Projects, says a report is being prepared for Council on options for extending the route further south from the corner of Cashel and High streets, assessing costs involved and funding options.

The proposed tram extension will rejuvenate this part of the Central City by bringing more movement and people, attracting additional tourists and creating a tram route more attractive to locals, as well as leaving the possibility open for integration with a future light rail service, Mr Hinman says.
Project City Mall Director Sean Whitaker says it makes sense to lay the Cashel Street tram tracks while construction is underway on City Mall. The new-look City Mall is starting to take shape, and while the addition of the tram tracks adds time to the project, it is practical to carry out the work now.
“We’re creating a fantastic new public space in City Mall that will attract residents, shoppers and visitors to the Central City. The inclusion of the tram in the project has won great support and will bring even more people into town,” he says.
ends

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