Work to transform Invercargill’s City Centre into a vibrant, inviting space starts this week as contractor Downer sets up in Don Street.
Downer staff will start setting up site fencing from the Dee Street end of Don Street on Friday, 13 August.
Invercargill City Council Roading Manager Russell Pearson said people coming into the CBD would start to see stage one of work begin on Don Street’s northern footpath from Monday 16 August.
“We’re delighted that Don Street will remain open to through-vehicle traffic for the first stage of the works, and of course pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained during business hours.”
The first stage of works in Don Street extends from Dee Street to near The Auction House, and is expected to take about six weeks.
The next stage, beginning in October, will see work move into the road carriageway, and changes to the way vehicles travel in Don Street. Access will still be available from Kelvin Street, but traffic will need to complete a U turn to travel back out the way they came in.
Meanwhile, Downer will start work in Esk Street from Monday, 23 August.
“As we have previously indicated, Esk Street will need to be closed to vehicle traffic from this date, however, people will still be able to walk down Esk Street and visit businesses,” Mr Pearson said.
Work will begin at the Kelvin Street end of Esk Street, with Downer’s first task to be working on the roadway itself – to access the underground foul sewer network, which is being renewed.
“We know Invercargill residents appreciate that we can often find a park outside our favourite shop, and realise that with all the activity happening in the CBD that can be a challenge at the moment.
“We’d encourage everyone to check out the excellent off-street parking options, like the City Centre Car Park in Leven Street, H&J Smith Car Park in Esk Street, or even some of the metered car parks in surrounding streets nearby,” Mr Pearson said.
“Most are within a two-minute walk of Esk and Don streets, and some even offer free parking options.”
Group Manager – Infrastructure Erin Moogan said the project team was excited to be getting work under way on the multimillion-dollar project.
“Invercargill City Council is passionate about creating a city with heart, and we have seen our community support these upgrades to our CBD, not only in the feedback they give to Council, but also reflected in the huge investment we’re seeing from other organisations in the city,” Ms Moogan said.
“We know that this project will be transformational for how we use and enjoy Esk and Don streets, however we also acknowledge there will be some challenges along the way.
“Council, along with Downer, is committed to working with business owners and retailers in Don and Esk streets to ensure their customers can continue to support them.”