Design flaws with the partly-constructed $24 million Harington Street Transport Hub could not have come at a "worse time", says a Tauranga business leader.
In May, structural engineers Harrison Grierson informed Tauranga City Council that design changes were needed to the seven-storey facility. The changes mostly related to seismic joints.
Nic Johansson, the council's general manager of infrastructure, said that during a previous concrete pour at the site a beam was seen twisting but structural engineers confirmed the building's safety had not been compromised.
However, Johansson said most of the construction work had been paused until the detailed design of the seismic joints used in the construction were proven to be "fit for purpose".
The design changes will include extra seismic joints to allow different parts of the building to move independently of each other and change the way loads were distributed through the structure, he said.
Johansson said the council, structural designers and an independent structural consultant Holmes Consulting were working together to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.
The expected completion date has been pushed out from early 2020 to mid-2020.
The cost of delays to the $24m project was yet to be determined but Tauranga's Mayor Greg Brownless promised to do his best to ensure ratepayers did not fit the bill.
"When we employ professionals we expect them to get things right. Yes, people do make mistakes but when they do we expect them to step up and take responsibility.
"Just like if someone was designing a house and faults were found I would expect to them to have to pay to put thing right," he said.
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The facility will include 250 parking spaces for cyclists, 53 for motorbikes, 550 carparks, including 15 mobility parks, electric charge points for cars and e-bikes, showers and lockers.
Downtown Tauranga chairman Brian Berry said news of these design faults "could not come at a worse time" as they working on the launch of a CBD promotional campaign.
The campaign was aimed at combating a negative perception of the CBD and attracting more people to come into the city centre to shop and do business, he said.
"It is very frustrating and disappointing this has arisen and delays for design faults are obviously not the council's fault."
Kevin Kerr, from Bike Tauranga, said many cyclists had been looking forward to seeing the facility completed.
"I just hope they [the council and key parties] can get on with those very quickly and at no cost to ratepayers," he said.
Transport advocate Heidi Hughes, from Greater Tauranga, was disappointed something had gone wrong with another Tauranga construction project.
"I feel for all the shopkeepers and businesses in downtown Tauranga, many who are struggling and were relying on this parking facility to be completed on time."
"Perhaps the regional council could allow for free buses for shoppers into the CBD to help support those businesses until this building is constructed," Hughes said.
In a written statement, Harrison Grierson's managing director Glen Cornelius said: "We are not in the position to comment on further details yet around timing or costs, as we're still working through the issues identified and potential solutions with the council."
"We remain committed to ensuring the council and the community gets the best outcome from the project," Cornelius said.