Whitianga Town Centre details finalised 08 December 2017 Car parking layout and how disruption to businesses will be managed were the two main issues discussed at a stakeholder meeting this week about the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade. The $4.7M upgrade for Stage one - from Albert St (from Hannan Rd to Campbell St) including a plaza on Taylor's Mistake - will start on Tuesday 3 April 2018 and is expected to finish approximately 8 months later, before Christmas 2018. A significant part of the contract for Stage One is the replacement and upgrading of the underground infrastructure in the Whitianga town centre. "From next year we'll be holding weekly meetings with representatives of the businesses that will be affected by the upgrade," says Andrew Boden, our Town Centre upgrade project manager. “We’ll talk about what worked well the previous week, what didn’t work and what needs to be improved on. We would like to avoid surprises for everyone as much as we can.” "We will be working with all the retailers and businesses to minimise disruption," says Mr Boden. The site office for the project will be the back part of the old Whitianga Fire Station (where the Kuaotunu Land Search and Rescue base used to be) and a part of Taylor’s Mistake will be fenced off and used for the storage of materials for the duration of the project. Reconfiguration of car parking spaces will also start in February next year. “Additional car parks will be created in Monk Street and Lee Street before the upgrade work begins," says Mr Boden. Fifty-nine car parks are to be removed from the main street (Albert St and the Taylor's Mistake area), but an additional 63 parks will be created on Monk St and Lee St - which means there will be a net gain of 4 car parks on completion of Stage One. An additional 13 parks are being created in Monk St, 35 along Lee St and a further 15 around the perimeter of the existing Lee St car park. "Some parking spaces in Albert Street won’t be able to be used while the work is in progress and the extra car parks in the two side streets will compensate for that," says Mr Boden. “The additional parking in Monk Street and Lee Street will also give people an idea of how parking in the town centre is going to work." Auckland-based civil contracting company Dempsey Wood will be doing the construction work, with Mr Boden overseeing the project on behalf of our Council. Opus consultants will review the project throughout its lifespan and will have to provide confirmation to TCDC upon completion that the work was done in accordance with all the designs.Boffa Miskell environmental consultants will become involved in the project towards the end with hard and soft landscaping advice. Stage Two will be from the plaza, down and along Taylor's Mistake, the Esplanade to the Wharf. To find out more about the project click here.