Wide pedestrian-friendly footpaths. A tree-lined street with planter boxes and rain gardens. A modern and inviting space for everyone but especially students of the new University of Waikato campus. Maybe, someday, a bus interchange. This is Tauranga City Council's vision for the 300m section of Durham St between Elizabeth and Spring Sts. But a year on since the first phase of construction started, the project is hitting both small businesses in the area and ratepayers in the pocket much harder than expected. Reporter Samantha Motion takes a look at both the financial and human struggles.

The cost of Durham St