Work has started on the latest stage of the redevelopment of the City Focus.

Contractors today began removing gardens and kerbs on Hinemoa St in preparation to partially block off the street to turning traffic and install eight new carparks and a loading zone outside the Quest Apartments.

The work is expected to take 10-12 working days with no footpath or road closures planned.

Vehicles will now need to go to the turnaround zone at the end of that section of Hinemoa St to get to the other side with the turning area there to be taken up by the new carparks and a pedestrian crossing zone.

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Rotorua Lakes Council strategy and partnerships group manager Jean-Paul Gaston said prior to work starting on the City Focus refresh, councillors requested staff engaged with nearby businesses regarding the removal of centre parks on Hinemoa St.

"While the businesses wanted to keep the centre parks they did highlight concerns with traffic congestion outside the Quest Apartments and potential safety risks to drivers and pedestrians caused by the turning gap.

"In response to their concerns council decided to create a drop-off bay outside the apartments and also to close the turning gap. The closure of the gap will create space for eight new carparks."

A diagram of the new car parks on Hinemoa St.
A diagram of the new car parks on Hinemoa St.

Vehicles travelling on Hinemoa St towards the City Focus will be able to turn left onto Tutanekai St, or alternatively use the roundabout area to do a u-turn and drive back up Hinemoa St towards Amohia St.

Council staff had visited nearby businesses and explained the work process and time frames, Mr Gaston said.

But the council still does not have a contractor to continue the next stage of the City Focus redevelopment.

"We will need to go through the tender process again to find a contractor to continue the work," he said.