I have been asked a lot recently about Prospero Place and the building site next to it on Broadway.
The area where the ANZ bank building was is owned by council and has been grassed and tidied up while we consider options for the future. Overtime other incremental improvements and numerous smaller projects will continue along Broadway as set out in the Future of Broadway 2035 plan and as funds become available.
The neighbouring area behind the wooden fence is a privately owned property that was cleared in preparation for the construction of a new building. Unfortunately, a change of circumstances means the developer has shelved the building project for the foreseeable future.
Concerns over the appearance of the area have led to discussions on how the space could be improved visually. With this in mind council has agreed to lease the site, with the intention to level the site, grass it and remove the wooden fence. This will enlarge the current grassed area in Prospero Place and is a low cost option to enhance the main street.
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People also ask about the condition of the road surface on Broadway between the roundabouts. To say it needs some work would probably be the understatement of the year, but there is some good news to share. As part of SH3 it is owned, managed and maintained by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
The agency plans to carry out significant improvements later this summer, including digging out the existing seal surface of the two traffic lanes and laying a brand new surface.
Council intends to take advantage of the road being dug up to replace ageing water mains that run along Broadway. Pipes in this area have failed a number of times in recent years, so as the roadworks are done we can do the work, minimising disruption and making savings at the same time.
It is also the intention to move the pedestrian crossing a short distance to the north to avoid the confusion when people stand at the crossing edge while watching the glockenspiel. By separating the crossing pedestrians and the glockenspiel watchers, it will be safer for everybody.
One thing that does disappoint me though, is the down scoping of the road project from the original proposal which included removing some of the excessive camber in the road. This would have made it easier for pedestrians and also easier to reverse out of the angle parking spaces. Unfortunately, NZTA has advised this is no longer part of the project. That is a great shame as it would have made this road length a lot more user friendly.