Plantings planned as work winds down

The New Edinburgh Way block of George St in Dunedin will soon be complemented by more greenery....
The New Edinburgh Way block of George St in Dunedin will soon be complemented by more greenery. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A revamped George St in Dunedin will soon have more trees and plants in the streetscape.

The finishing touches are near for an upgrade that includes replacement of underground pipes, rebuilding footpaths and the road surface, installation of seating and integrating a cultural narrative into the new look.

The upgrade was expected to be completed in late April and Dunedin City Council central city plan project director Glen Hazelton said the main works were starting to wind down.

Some work was still needed in the malls block and New Edinburgh Way block of George St, as well as at intersections.

Two other blocks — the Knox block and Farmers block — had been completed earlier.

Trees had to make way for the upgrade and the council has said they would be replaced by a mixture of native and exotic species.

Garden beds with lilies and native ground cover are also a feature of the street design.

When trees were removed from the Knox block in 2022, the council said many of them had been getting near the end of their lives, they were in the wrong locations for the new layout or they needed to be removed to allow the replacement of underground pipes to take place.

Dr Hazelton said yesterday the redeveloped New Edinburgh Way block would have 33 trees and the malls block would have 31.

A few trees were cut in a redesign of the Knox block, but the new plan still had 92, compared with the 35 there previously, he said.

George St is the focus of an upgrade of the retail area and the full project is worth about $90 million.

It began in late 2021.

Work was scaled down before Christmas last year and has since ramped up again.

"Such work is currently under way in Hanover, St Andrew, London and Pitt Sts to install new paving, mud tanks and kerb and channel ahead of town getting busier again as students return and people come back from their summer holidays," Dr Hazelton said.

The final areas of underground works would continue at the intersection of Filleul and St Andrew Sts and York Pl, he said.

Linking of new pipes to adjoining areas needed to happen at the intersection of Great King St and St Andrew St once works for the new Pacific Radiology building by the bus hub had been completed.

"Small areas of pipe lining works are also under way or due for completion, which requires some above-ground traffic management for safety of the installers," Dr Hazelton said.

"As with any project of this scale, there will also be some minor works that continue in the months after completion to rectify any defects or install any delayed items, such as new bus shelters in the Knox block."