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Working Together Brings Wins At High Profile Site

A high-profile apartment development in the central city will also improve footpaths in the area with less disruption and cost for ratepayers.

Waikato-based building company Engas Development is building Eastbank - 27 apartments on the corner of Anzac Parade, Memorial Drive and Puutikitiki Street – and Council is taking a one-off opportunity to create additional footpath width for the community.

The current footpath is as little as 1.3m wide close to a busy traffic lane and a co-operative approach between Engas and Council means the footpath will be widened as part of the development, saving time and money.

“Working together is delivering some real benefits to this project, and as a local company it’s great to see wider, long-term benefits for the city through this approach,” says Steve Currie of Engas.

“We’re mindful of the profile and history of the site, and we continue to work closely with mana whenua and Council as the project develops.”

The corner site is in an area steeped in the city’s settlement and transport history. A cultural report notes it is near to the historic Te Tara-ahi Paa site of Ngāti Pakekirangi which was abandoned after Ngapuhi raids in the late 1700s, it’s opposite the historic Moule’s Redoubt, the first European settlement in the Waikato, and near the city’s first bridge crossing, the 1878 Union Bridge.

Heritage site investigation and discovery protocols are in place during works, mana whenua input during the design phase will be reflected in a distinctive design on the new retaining wall, and a historic plaque on the old wall is being saved for relocation.

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Site excavation is planned for February/March with the new retaining wall expected to be complete in March/April and the new, wider, footpath fully open to the public in May.

Hamilton City Council Executive Director Development, Chris Allen, says one of the biggest benefits of doing this work as part of the development is the reduction in disruption for traffic.

“This is one of our busiest central city intersections, beside one of our highest-traffic bridges. By doing the footpaths before the apartments are built, construction equipment can work from the development site, rather than from the road. This was a one-off opportunity as widening the footpaths once development is complete would have caused far more disruption and may have been economically unfeasible.”

Traffic management during this phase will mainly involve narrowing of lanes on Anzac Parade and Memorial Drive, with closures of Puutikitiki Street access from Anzac Parade during specific stages of the works. Pedestrians and cyclists will be directed through the site at a safe distance from works.

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