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Work begins on Foxton Main Street North upgrade

Work begins on Foxton Main Street North upgrade

Construction work on the upgrade to the north end of Foxton’s Main Street has begun.

The construction work follows the Foxton Community Board’s endorsement of a design for the upgrade at its meeting on Monday 11 December 2017.

The design, known as the 'connect north and west' option, will connect public space around the War Memorial to Ihakara Gardens to the north and to the footpath and shops to the west. The War Memorial will remain where it is.

Horowhenua District Council’s Roading Projects Team Leader, James Wallace, said the key elements of the design concept are:

· creating a large public space at the northern end of Main Street for formal and informal gatherings

· providing gardens, lawns and trees, as well as hard surfaces for events and markets

· converting the portion of Ravensworth Place that runs in front of Ihakara Gardens from road to public space

· making it safer and easier for people to walk through the area and cross roads

· providing car parks in the same or close proximity to their current position

· enhancing the connection between Ihakara Gardens and the new public space and Main Street beyond

· retaining an open area outside of the northern-most shops on Main Street; providing access from Main Street to private property; and creating a buffer between the new public space and houses on Ravensworth Place.

The endorsed design was one of four options. Other options included expanding the traffic island, connecting north, and connecting west.

A drop-in community input session in April 2017 and a stakeholder workshop in May helped develop the four options for the upgrade.

Mr Wallace said the public drop-in session was well-attended by about 150 members of the community, and the workshop included input from residents of Main Street and surrounding streets, business and building owners in the northern end of Main Street, and community organisations.

“Two important design decisions made by the Foxton community were that the war memorial should remain its current position, and the public space around the memorial should be increased and enhanced,” he said.

“With this agreement, the workshop group drew dozens of drawings for how the new public space could be designed. All drawings presented variations on four ideas, and these evolved into the four design options.”

Public feedback was then invited from the Foxton community on the four design options.

Concepts were also tested with emergency services, tangata whenua, key community groups and Horowhenua District Council's roading engineers.

"The conversation with the community took a project that had generated emotive disagreement between parts of the Foxton community and provided multiple opportunities for people to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Everything was discussed and tested openly, in front of the community," said Mr Wallace.

"While no option could satisfy all competing objectives, the consultation process has led to the design option that will achieve the most benefits possible for Foxton community and the town's visitors."

Mr Wallace said construction work will initially focus on the eastern side of Main Street, starting from where work on the street finished in 2017 and continuing into the Avenue Road intersection. The western side of Main Street, where the new public space will be created around the war memorial, will be started in late March.

Construction is expected to be complete by 24 April 2018.

ENDS

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