Changes to street alignment in the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade 20 November 2018 The street alignment in the town centre has changed at the intersection of Campbell Street and Albert Street and it may take some people a while to get used to it. The significant change is that vehicles coming from Albert St travelling north must now give way to traffic from Campbell St. The alignment was a planned part of the design brief, with the purpose to discourage through traffic in Albert St, slow traffic down and create a pedestrian-friendly environment. The road alignment encourages motorists to use alternate routes for travelling through the town centre unless stopping in the CBD.The change gives priority to Campbell St traffic entering the centre of town. The decision to prioritise Campbell St was made following a detailed study of traffic flows in Whitianga. The feasibility of a roundabout at the intersection was considered during the design stage but found to not favour the main traffic flow. A roundabout option reduced parking nearby and was noncompliant with Ausroad design standards. We have commissioned an independent traffic design consultant to review all the parking and traffic changes, including the Albert/Campbell streets intersection. As part of this review, alternate options will be considered as some members of the community have suggested. Until then please understand the road rules and travel safe. Check out Dive Zone Whitianga Every week we've been promoting a local business that has been affected by the town centre upgrade. This week it is Dive Zone Whitianga. Owner and operator of Dive Zone Whitianga, Darrell Bird, discovered Whitianga in 2004. A stunning coastal paradise, with marine reserves and amazing dive sites, but with no dive store. A business opportunity turned into a lifestyle for Darrel and his team. Dive Zone Whitianga opened its doors to customers in October 2004. Before that Darrell had been working at dive facilities in both Australia and New Zealand. Darrel loves all things outdoors, he and his team care about the community and they love promoting diving education within the district. Linda Bird, Darrell’s partner, has lived in Whitianga for over 20 years and she also enjoys the diving world being one of Dive Zones Advanced Open Water Divers herself.“We take in students who are interested in diving and we guide them through every course to becoming a diving instructor,” says Linda. Darrell and Linda strive to provide quality equipment and operate their facilities and services in a safe environment.“I have had a long association with the area, Darrell came to the area because he knew it was a great place to set up the business,” says Linda. “Other interests of ours including skiing and snowboarding in the winter,” says Linda. “I think the town centre upgrade was very well managed. We have parking outside so it was easy for our customers to still access us during the works.” “I think now coming near the end of phase one the town looks amazing, it's more inviting and pedestrian friendly, I think Council and contractors have all done an amazing job,” says Linda. Darrell and Linda invite you to come and check out their store which is equipped with a huge range of dive and free-dive necessities. From wetsuits to spear guns and even a great range of kayaks and everything inbetween. “We have a new 12m boat on the water and we take groups of up to 17,” says Linda. “From our marine reserves to the Mercury and Aldermen Islands – we offer a range of opportunities for all levels of divers. Come and let us show you our world”. For more information visits their website. Works this week - 20 November Phase 3 - Albert St from Blacksmith Lane to Campbell Street The parking bays in this section are closed to public access to enable full completion of pedestrian footpaths. All work, including the parking bays, is expected to be completed by the end of November (weather permitting). Other works going on include: Finishing paver installation on the east and west sides of Albert Street. Installing street signs and paving bands to asphalt footpath areas. Start the new footpath between Frankies public house and Westpac bank. Plaza Area Starting the concrete placement for plaza slab. Installing canopy. Continue plaza deck construction. For more information on the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade please visit our project page.