One Bird That Flew Before RWC
I’ve lost count of the number of times I have written over the last few years about a project that will be “ready in time for the Rugby World Cup 2011.”
We may have tired of it but thank goodness for the good things we have got including a speed up or at least implementation of train station work, new bus routes, HOP and more.
One project that has not made the opening of the Cup – but is not far off is the Roy Roy Square, in Victoria St, being created since the Birdcage or Rob Roy Tavern was moved and then moved back for the Victoria Park Tunnel.
I asked one of the workers if it was ready for tomorrow and he laughed and said maybe a month.
The area in front of the tavern at the junction of Victoria St, Franklin Rd and Union Street was used for car parking and considered dark and unattractive especially for passerbys.
Bof a Miskell has designed the space as a public plaza, taking into count the need for a connection between Victoria Park and the Victoria Markets and the area. Union Street is being narrowed to allow easier access to the plaza.
The unused heritage tavern, a Category II historic place, is now ownerd by the government effectively and will be leased as a pub or licensed restaurant business.
It has been strengthened as part of the work done before shifting it 44m up Franklin Rd over a year ago.
Nearby the dreadful out of time Victoria Park markets are finally getting some restoration work done that will be completed next year after a coupld of years of promised plans and developer hiccups.
And over the road at the Victoria Park end of Victoria Park is the near 100 year old Campbells Kindergarten that was given new life by the NZTA as part of the tunnel disruption to the area. Part of the old Campbells kindergarten will house the standby electrical and communications systems for the neighbouring tunnel.
The 450 metre-long tunnel remains on track to open to traffic on November 7, three months early and a few weeks before the election.
While the tunnel will open to two lanes of traffic in early November, it will be January before Auckland experiences the full benefits of the Victoria Park Tunnel and its associated motorway widening through St Marys Bay.
Once northbound traffic is using the tunnel, NZTA says it will reconfigure the Victoria Park flyover to carry southbound traffic. The plan is to have all three northbound lanes in the tunnel and all four southbound lanes using the flyover by mid-January.