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Queen Street Upgrade – Stage 2 Nears Completion; New Construction Programme Confirmed

Wednesday 27 September 2017

  • Stage 2 partially open

  • Changes to the construction programme will pull back lost time

  • The project completion date is now 31 May 2018 

Another section of the new-look Queen Street has opened, giving a taste of how the street will look, feel and function once the full upgrade is complete.

The opening of part of Stage 2 this week, from Noel Leeming up to Poppy Thai, coincides with confirmation of changes to the way the rest of the upgrade will be carried out to allow contractor Downer to pull back lost time.

Tasman District Council project manager Jeff Robinson says the opening of Stage 2 will give a real feel for the new pedestrian-friendly and accessible space the streetscaping will create. The remaining portion of Stage 2, from Poppy Thai to the Cambridge Street closure, is due for completion next week.

Jeff says: “The huge amount of work that has gone on under the street to replace the old and undersized stormwater and water pipes can’t be seen obviously, but what people may notice is the new road profile. The centre of the street has been lowered, which creates a channel for stormwater to better protect the businesses on Queen Street from flooding."

Construction Programme Changes

Jeff said the Council and contractor Downer have developed a revised construction timetable for the rest of the upgrade, with a completion date of 31 May 2018 for the entire project.

Jeff said delays in the early part of the project – caused by unforeseen obstacles including unmapped services, contaminated soil, soft clay, and services in poorer condition than expected needing replacement – had put the project 15 weeks behind by the end of Stage 1. He said there wasn’t enough time contingency built into the original programme to accommodate the number of issues that were encountered.

“We needed to look at the whole methodology for the construction and work out ways to increase efficiency and regain some of that lost time. The new completion date is four weeks later than the original completion date. Obviously that’s not great news for the businesses or public using Queen Street, but we have to be realistic about what we can achieve. Four weeks over is better than 15 and there will be a big push from everyone involved to meet that deadline.”

In order to speed up work, Downer will continue working across multiple stages of the project at once, meaning a longer section of the street will be within the construction zone at any one time. The original programme limited Downer to working within a single stage at a time, which was intended to limit the disruption to businesses and the public.

Read more about the Queen Street Upgrade