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Sophia St parking zone to be handed back to holiday shoppers

Sophia Street car park zone to be handed back to holiday shoppers

Shoppers driving past the new multi-level car park under construction on Sophia Street need not be concerned about where to park this Christmas shopping season – there will be as many off-street parks as last year in the popular downtown parking site and this year parking attendants will assist motorists.

While the $3.8 million project is not scheduled for completion until March next year, owners the Timaru District Council have ensured that motorists will not be unduly inconvenienced during the Christmas rush. Construction contractors have been asked to de-camp, remove heavy machinery and equipment and leave the site with as many car parks as possible for seasonal shoppers.

C Lund and Son has made great progress on the tiered car park, which features a basement and two above ground-level decks, partly above the recently extended Farmers store, council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said today (eds: November 18).

The car park building basement and part of the ground floor area would be cleared and available for car parking from December 2 until mid-January, he said.

“These car parking areas will continue to be pay and display parking during this period, the same as the parking on the either side of the new building is at present,” Mr Dixon said.

That would leave two months for the project to be completed adding approximately 100 car park spaces in the area.

However, Mr Dixon said motorists should be aware that it was a construction site, and although the council had endeavoured to minimise inconvenience at a busy time of the year, drivers should take extreme care.

“Visibility might still be compromised a little around the structure, and for this reason we will have attendants assisting motorists,” he said.

The new car park building is on the central part of the council site and the two parking areas on either side will remain as open ground-level parking.

The building’s designers had noted the prominence of the site and architectural features such as a bluestone chip-coated front panel to add aesthetic appeal had attracted favourable public comment.

Once the car park building is completed the entrance and exit-ways would remain the same as the former open car park and return to pay-as-you-leave at a manned booth, Mr Dixon said.

The new car park would help meet a pressing need for more CBD car parks, he said.

“The council public car park with the highest occupancy rate is the Sophia Street manned booth car park. This is because of the central location of this car park, and the fact that the pay-as-you-leave facility does not require prejudgement of restricted parking time,” Mr Dixon said.


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