Published 16 October 2005
Auckland City councillors approved a $1 million upgrade for Swanson St between Queen & Albert Sts this week. The work should start next March and take 4-5 months to complete.
The 2 blocks from Albert to Hobson St were excluded from the project at this stage because Kitchener Group could start work in the next 2 years on its proposed development at the corner of Albert St through to St Patrick’s Square, and to prevent conflict with separate streetscape & paving upgrades on the square and on Albert & Federal Sts.
The BNZ Tower may also be refurbished, but as that could be 2-3 years away and would probably focus on the Queen St entrance & forecourt, and the existing building entrances & stairway levels & positions are very constrained, council staff saw little opportunity for co-ordination.
The section of Swanson St between Queen St & Mills Lane will get more lighting. Council staff & consultants introduced a new wall design but rejected eliminating the wall altogether because of very different levels between the stairs beside the BNZ Tower and ramp on the other side.
The council’s urban design panel questioned the need for a wall and noted the area was both a walkway and place to eat lunch & relax.
CBD project manager Eric van Essen said a new road surface at Mills Lane would reduce traffic speed and bollards would add protection.