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Upgrades have been in the pipeline for many years, but it was $35 million of shovel-ready funding from the Government in the wake of Covid-19 that finally got the project off the ground.
The mayor was accompanied by Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager infrastructure Peter Hansby and Matt Matahaere from Otakou Runaka, who led a blessing.
Mr Boult, two weeks on from knee surgery, then performed a ceremonial first dig in Beach St, which construction firm HEB was to begin renovating over the next three months.
Mr Boult said it was "a great time to do this", as visitor numbers to Queenstown were low. He admitted there would be some disruption for businesses, but added "you’ve just got to get on and do it".
"I’m over the moon. This is enormously important to us. It’s the first step in a number of projects, and great timing to create employment and put some economic fizz into the district."
The mayor said the council wanted to see $300 million worth of projects started to put "some fire in the belly" during a tough time, and thanked the Government for the money received so far.
A total of $85 million for shovel-ready projects has been handed to Queenstown to date; $50 million has been allocated for new arterial routes into the town.
The council was still awaiting news on other applications, including for a $151 million upgrade to the Queenstown Events Centre.