A plan to rearrange the one-way street network in Dunedin
- and help breathe new life into the city's heritage warehouses
- has been dealt a blow by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
NZTA staff yesterday confirmed the project was not part of
the 2012-15 national land transport programme and had missed
out on funding.
NZTA planning and investment southern regional manager Bruce
Richards said the project was classified a "priority six"
project, and needed to rise to "priority three" to be
"Funding was not allocated as the project did not rank above
"The DCC can come back any time to be reassessed.
"The project would need to be an identified project or
package of projects ... that could be formally supported by
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly said
the decision meant more work was required to establish its
benefits before the project could qualify for funding.
The council had hoped to complete an investigation of the
project by mid-next year, followed by a detailed design in
2013-14, she said.
Councillors had allocated $80,000 towards the cost of the
investigation, but required about $140,000 from the NZTA - a
65% subsidy - to complete both the investigation and detailed
design work, she said.
The total cost of the project was estimated by council
consultant MWH to be $5.694 million, excluding land purchases
likely to be needed in places.
Ms Connolly said the lack of NZTA funding for the next
two stages meant council staff would instead have to reconsider
their plans, and it was likely councillors would decide how
best to proceed.
Asked how likely it was the two-way project would continue,
she said: "No idea."
"It is unfortunate ... We really need to get some clarity
around what do [councillors] want to do, now we've got this
bit of news."
Plans for the rejig were first unveiled last year, and
proposed reconfiguring parts of Cumberland and Crawford Sts
between Andersons Bay Rd and the Leviathan Hotel, near Queens
Cumberland St would become the main arterial route through
the city, with two lanes in each direction, while Crawford St
would become a more pedestrian and cycle-friendly two-way
street, with one lane in each direction.
A feasibility study by MWH had confirmed the proposal was
technically possible in the available space.
Council planning and environment committee chairwoman Cr Kate
Wilson, speaking earlier this year, was enthusiastic about
the project's potential to help reinvigorate the city's
heritage warehouse precinct.
The council's draft central city plan envisaged the area as a
vibrant hub of apartments, cafes, bars, restaurants, creative
businesses and office space, but also saw the existing road
configuration as a barrier to those plans.
Cr Wilson said the one-way streets turned the warehouse
precinct into an uninviting "island" that was difficult to
reach for pedestrians and cyclists, and changing the road
layout could trigger redevelopment.
"I think people are quite excited about the prospect of how
that area might develop."
Contacted yesterday, Cr Wilson said she wasn't aware of
NZTA's decision but hoped it would be a temporary delay.
It had always been likely the project would be several years
away, but - despite pressure on budgets - Cr Wilson remained
confident it would be supported by NZTA, in time.
"I wouldn't be surprised if it does go ahead," she said.
NZTA's 2012-15 programme - confirmed in August - allocated
$280 million across Otago, two-thirds of which was earmarked
for maintenance of roads.
That represented a 5% drop from the allocation in the
previous programme, but a 5% increase on what was actually
spent in 2009-12.