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Work on a multimillion-dollar harbour arterial route in Dunedin is expected to start in October.
The programme is the first in a series of transport projects designed to offset the impact of the new Dunedin Hospital being built and the planned improvements at Wharf St are expected to help the area cope with extra traffic.
Wharf St is one of the city’s busiest roads and is considered to need an upgrade if the harbour route is to serve as a viable bypass of the central city.
New cycling and pedestrian paths are also planned.
Safety improvements for the harbour arterial route are budgeted to cost about $16.6million and just over half of that would be met by the NZ Transport Agency.
Dunedin City Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson said the council was calling for tenders for stage 1 of the project.
Work could begin on that in October and be completed about May 2022.
Stage 2 is expected to start in 2023 and the entire harbour arterial project is scheduled to be completed by 2026.
Ms Benson said work would initially focus on safety improvements in the Wharf St area.
The intersections of Birch, Roberts and Kitchener Sts would be improved to enhance safety and accessibility for vehicles travelling through the Harbour Basin area, she said.
"We will be also making the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians by widening some of the shared paths and providing better crossings," Ms Benson said.
"There will also be new footpaths, traffic islands, traffic signals and landscaping."
Ms Benson said Wharf St was an essential corridor for the movement of freight and people through Dunedin.
New transport delivery manager Ben Hogan is leading the project for the council.