Getting ready for action on Stage Two of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade 19 February 2019 The next stage of work on the new look of the Whitianga Town Centre will start after Easter. Work involves creating a new playground and footpath at The Esplanade, and improvements to the lower end of Taylors Mistake, which includes the beautification of the stream edge of Carina Creek. Developments to the children's playground will start on 29 April, after the end of the school holidays.The work on The Esplanade footpath will start in May, while work on Taylors Mistake will start before Easter and will not impact business owners or the Repco Beach Hop events. Playground creations planned design for the new playground on the Esplanade (above) - click on the image to open a larger version. The majority of the equipment at the playground will be replaced and a sand and water play area is being developed. Access to the playground, the wharf and the boat ramp up to Albert Street through Taylor's Mistake will be improved and made safer for pedestrians. A new 2.5m-wide path will run past the playground from the wharf, along the Esplanade through Taylors Mistake, to the newly upgraded retail area on Albert Street. The new path will include a historical walk, sculptures and lighting and will have a nautical theme. A 3m-wide footpath will also be constructed in front of businesses from the Game Fishing Club through to Monk Street. Detailed stage two footpath plans (above). Meanwhile, a pedestrian crossing is proposed near the public toilet on The Esplanade, to cross in front of Mercury Bay Museum. This location was chosen to avoid any obstruction of boat trailers using the boat ramp. "It also provides pedestrians the most direct route when coming from the ferry to the town centre and The Esplanade businesses," says our Council's project manager Andrew Boden. "It will provide a safe crossing for the visually impaired and has the least impact to parking and is far enough away from the corner to allow sufficient sight lines," says Mr Boden. The crossing will also have a pedestrian refuge in the centre of the road. This will allow pedestrians to cross the road safely, by dealing with one direction of traffic flow at a time. "We're trialling the pedestrian refuge over the next few weeks to make sure large boats and trailers and delivery trucks can still maintain unimpeded access to the Game Fishing Club and the boat ramp," Mr Boden says. You can tell us whether you think the pedestrian refuge is working, by dropping into the Whitianga office, or by sending an email to our customers services team with the subject line "Feedback - New pedestrian crossing stage two Whitianga Town centre upgrade - or calling us on 07 868 0200. No change is proposed to the boat ramp location nor the boat trailer parking position and overflow into Taylor's Mistake. Ultra Fast Broadband installation programme Ultra Fast Broadband is due to be installed in Whitianga in 2020. We have installed ducts in the ground to allow for fibre to be laid along the length of Albert Street, including connections to the various businesses. For more information on the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade please visit our project page.