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Tenders are being called for the first stage of the Jetty St pedestrian mall in Dunedin.
Late last year the Dunedin City Council voted to pedestrianise the section of Jetty St between the one-way Cumberland and Crawford Sts. Initial objections from the Fire Service were overcome but some residents continued to oppose the plan because it removed a traffic route from the city towards the hill suburbs.
But the mandatory appeals period following the council's decision had yielded no submissions when it closed at the end of January, council team leader urban design Glen Hazelton said.
That meant no obstacles remained and tenders for the necessary work on the project ‘‘were now being put together''.
While acknowledging the interest people had in the development of the area, construction timeframes would not be set until tenders were in, he said.
‘‘The longer we can give the contractors, potentially the cheaper the prices, given the other infrastructure work that is happening around town at the moment. So we need to get that tender out first before we can confirm when things will be under way.''
It was expected the work would be tendered ‘‘in the next few months'', he said.
Construction work would then be staged, though what stage came when would not be known for some months.
However, changes to the Police and Crawford Sts intersection to allow an alternative through-route for emergency services vehicles - one of the mitigations agreed between council and the Fire Service - would be at the front of the queue, he said.
‘‘The less we prescribe the more potential for innovative thinking that saves us money.''Cr Kate Wilson, who chaired the hearings panel on the proposal, said having the mall signed off was a great step for Dunedin.
‘‘I'm really excited for the potential the adjoining landowners see in the area, and how it could be used.''
Jetty St building owner Dr Hayden Cawte, who submitted in favour of the pedestrian plan, welcomed the news.
‘‘We are pleased to hear the good news and are looking forward to having a new space for people to walk and interact.''
The pedestrian area would ‘‘further enhance the attractiveness'' of the thriving warehouse precinct, Dr Cawte said.