Bus hub build 'costing business $1000 a week'

One Great King St business owner says he is losing at least $1000 a week during the construction of Dunedin’s new bus hub and  any delay will cost him more money.

Smiths Sport Shoes co-owner Greg Lapwood says he is losing about $1000 a week because of the...
Smiths Sport Shoes co-owner Greg Lapwood says he is losing about $1000 a week because of the construction of the bus hub and further delays will make it worse. Photo: Christine O'Connor

A major water pipe outside the Dunedin Central Police Station needs to be moved after it was found, during construction of the hub, to be closer to the kerb than expected.

Affected businesses were told of the issue this week and the Dunedin City Council says the work could delay the project by a "matter of weeks".

Smiths Sport Shoes co-owner Greg Lapwood said his business had lost more than $10,000 since work on the $4.4 million hub started in July.

"We’re 10 weeks into it; supposedly 10 weeks to go; finish end of November.

"I’d be pretty surprised if they finish on time."

Mr Lapwood said he was concerned for his staff and had considered letting at least one of them go but had decided against it.

He was under a lot of pressure — both financially and mentally — and the situation with the water pipe had only made matters worse.

"I’ve just got to ride it out and supposedly the 2000 or so people who are going to come to the street to get on or off the bus is going to be fantastic. But are they going to be shoe buyers? Who knows?"

Contractor Fulton Hogan had tried to reduce the impact of the construction but people were still not aware the shop was open.

Next door there were similar feelings towards the project.

Look Sharp Store manager Mini Sudheesh said the business’ sales were down about 60% on the same time last year.

It was difficult to run a business when there was no certainty the situation would return to normal in November, Ms Sudheesh said.

City council 3 waters group manager Tom Dyer said the water main was in reasonable condition, but needed to be shifted to be accessed easily in the future.

The extra work could add time to the project, but it should only be a matter of weeks.

Ensuring retailers were able to trade throughout the construction period was paramount.

Regional council chief executive Sarah Gardner said the council was unsure exactly when the hub would be completed but would work closely with the affected retailers to keep them informed.

Both councils said they would work closely to get the hub operating as quickly as possible.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

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