Work on the first stage of the lakefront development in Rotorua is set to get underway at the end of the month.

The first section of work will involve the construction of a boardwalk and terracing around the lake edge.

This first stage of work is forecast to cost $16.8 million.

A karakia will take place on October 15 before soil sampling takes place on October 16 and 17. During the soil sampling, some areas will be fenced off temporarily.

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The lakefront development stage plan. Photo / Supplied
The lakefront development stage plan. Photo / Supplied

Fencing and site setup is scheduled to start on October 29.

Rotorua Lakes Council general manager of strategy Jean-Paul Gaston said: "This first section of work will involve the construction of a new boardwalk along the lake edge from the existing commercial jetty, to the eastern area by the existing footbridge, as well as terracing along the lake edge which will provide space by the water to sit and relax."

"The boardwalk is going to provide a place to wander, reflect, and enjoy panoramic views of the lake and Mokoia Island," he said.

"Safety has been a key priority in the design of the boardwalk which has undergone a full safety audit and building consent assessment and meets all safety requirements.

"We've worked hard with iwi to establish clear guidelines during construction to protect lake water quality and kōura habitat, and to protect and reflect both Te Arawa heritage and the importance of the reserve to the community today."

While this stage of construction is underway, access to the lake edge and Oruawhata Drive will be restricted but access through Memorial Drive and Lakefront Drive will remain open.

Access to Memorial Drive will be restricted early next year when work on Stage 4 begins. More information about access to the lakefront will be provided once the worksite boundaries have been finalised.

Construction of the entire lakefront development will be completed in stages to ensure parts of the lakefront reserve are always accessible.

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Entertainment and activities will continue to feature at the lakefront to ensure the reserve is still an enjoyable place to be even throughout construction.

HEB Construction Ltd was awarded the contract.

Lakefront upgrade
Stage 1 - Upgrade of main lakefront walkway, boardwalk and terracing.
Stage 2 - New playground, upgrade of existing playground and new toilet block.
Stage 2a - Upgrade of streetscape along Tūtānekai St including parking, a widened footpath, and verandah walkway.
Stage 3 - Grass terracing, cycle and walk way.
Stage 3a - Main open space area and terracing around new commercial development.
Stage 4 - New Memorial Plaza carpark.
Stage 5 - Upgrade of area west of the lakefront.