'Revitalisation of the streetscape': High St upgrade finished

Another milestone in central Christchurch's post-earthquake recovery has been reached after a project to upgrade  High St was finished.

Christchurch City Council head of transport Lynette Ellis said all three stages of the 'High Street Upgrade' from Hereford St to St Asaph St have now been completed.

“While the revitalisation of the streetscape adds greatly to the character and culture of the area, this project was also about repairing damaged underground services and roading infrastructure, which was essential work," said Ellis.

The final section to be upgraded stretched from Tuam to St Asaph Sts. It now features a large Aramoana paving design across the street and a northbound cycle lane, connecting the Heathcote Expressway to the central city.

The paving design mirrors the other sections of High St, from Cashel to Tuam St, where Ngāi Tūāhuiri and Ngāi Tahu values and concepts were woven into the streetscape.

"This southernmost block is now one-way, with the left-turn exit onto Madras St maintained and a new right-turn exit onto St Asaph St making it easier for people to get around and access parking,” Ellis said.

“Wider footpaths and a 10km/h speed limit will also create a more pedestrian-friendly space, helping to cater for increased foot traffic we’re expecting through the area when Te Kaha opens in 2026.”

Some of the upright english oak trees lining the street outside Ara's city campus were in poor condition and have been replaced.

Ellis said a larger rooting space has been created to ensure the ongoing health of the new trees. 

Native lancewoods are being planted outside the Duncan Building to enhance the heritage façade, she said.

The earlier High St upgrades included an extension of the tramway, looping around the block bounded on two sides by Lichfield St and Poplar St, then back up High St.

Said Ellis: "We’re grateful to the businesses and local residents for their patience through this time of disruption, and we look forward to seeing the street bustling again with people able to fully enjoy all its offerings."