Wharf St progressing toward people-friendly street

Construction continues on Wharf Street. Image: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Works to upgrade Wharf Street to a pedestrian-friendly environment are well underway and still on track to open this summer.

The upgrade has already achieved major milestones improving the underground service network of Wharf Street, says the Tauranga City Council.

These include the installation of a new water and sewer main, repairs to the existing stormwater pipes, the installation of a new surface drainage system and the infrastructure required for the new lighting system. Work has now moved above ground with concrete works to commence in late August.

Mayor Tenby Powell has had a close eye on the project and how it’s progressing.

“Through the Vital Update, people told us that revitalising the city centre was amongst the top three things they would like to see changed,” says Tenby.

“And this is what we’re doing here. This upgrade is a great example where Wharf Street businesses, the contractor and council are working together towards something that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors in the near future.

“It’s exciting to see the efforts going into this project, amidst the impact of Covid-19 to ensure the new environment can be enjoyed this coming summer.

“I’d like to thank the Wharf Street businesses who have been accommodating and supportive – knowing that this upgrade will have huge future opportunities in store for them and the whole city centre.

“The heart of our city will be so much richer with an experience like this. I can’t wait to have my first coffee out there when it is all completed.

The concept plan for Wharf St includes lighting and more outside dining space. Supplied image.

“While we’re doing everything to mitigate the impact on all businesses – I encourage you to head into the city centre, grab a coffee and some lunch, or enjoy a nice dinner out to support them during this disruptive time.”

The next milestone has been achieved, with councillors agreeing to declare Wharf Street, between Willow Street and The Strand, a pedestrian mall, restricting vehicle access to the street to only those authorised.

Next steps of the project include the pouring of concrete and the treatment to create the final decorative finish, planting of native trees, installation of street furniture such as bike racks and seating and the installation of the lighting system.

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Had dinner there on Saturday. (MoMo's)

Posted on 31-08-2020 13:33 | By morepork

Went with a friend who has some difficulty walking and found the broken surface tricky, but not impossible. It is a horror show at the moment, but it is probably necessarily so. Certainly the emphasis should be on getting it done, but adding resources to do that would increase the cost. I think we have to be patient and look to the end result. The works did not diminish the really good atmosphere in the restaurant, although it did make access more difficult, of course. It IS tough for businesses there but good service and good food with a great atmosphere will bring people in, even if the conditions are temporarily difficult.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 28-08-2020 15:34 | By

Aug 7, 2019 - Tauranga street works: Progress on $4.9m Wharf St, Elizabeth St plan ... Council approved an estimated construction budget of $5.56m for the upgrade on 10 September 2019.... I wonder what the final price tag will look like....

@ Andrew64

Posted on 28-08-2020 14:18 | By

My apologies if I have misunderstood your comment. I have never heard of a ’glib remark’ and so have just Googled it’s meaning. I do however stand by my comment but now without association to your comment. That however puts my comment out the door with this article. LOL.


Posted on 28-08-2020 07:56 | By

You’re focusing on a glib remark at the end of my post, the point of which was the excessive time to complete works on a 100m stretch of road and its highly likely outcome.

@ Andrew64

Posted on 27-08-2020 09:04 | By

Actually Mayor Col.Tenby Powell has every right to be, (as you put it), swanning around there drinking coffee in public. What is wrong with that? I think it is a great thing that he is at least getting out in our city and he should be doing that rather than locking himself away in his office. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He is trying to make amends of a situation we should never have been put in. Yes it comes down from the top but he is at least trying to change a significant culture in his life. I’d suggest you read the comment below by Informed.


Posted on 27-08-2020 08:33 | By

Interesting that you think anybody who complains about wasting money is a “boomer”. Get that chip off your shoulder.


Posted on 26-08-2020 19:40 | By

More boomers complaining on Sunlive.... If you bothered to keep up with the project, rather than throw rocks. You would already know that all the services in the street were due for replacement (which requires the street to be ripped up). And all of the businesses in the street helped design the streetscape, with the nationally recognised architects. And it was put out for the public to give feed back on. So I know that I gave feedback. Did you, or are you just going to complain some more.

Great concept but..

Posted on 26-08-2020 13:20 | By

I can’t fault the concept and hope the finished product will meet expectations. My problem is that the works are over a distance of 100m and it is projected to take 8-9 months to complete with a budget of $5.5 million. Seriously? The work should be 24/7 with sufficient workers to complete it in under a month As is typical of work carried out here it will be late, over-budget and to a poor standard requiring remedial work within a short period of time. It’s a travesty. I don’t think it’s such a great idea for the Colonel to be swanning around drinking coffee in public there either.

This is it?

Posted on 26-08-2020 08:53 | By Equality

We have an insolvent council and they waste more of our money on yet another concrete jungle! No imagination used here - why didn’t they get the designer from Christchurch and give the place some colour and light! They sure haven’t considered comfort or asthetics. Give us some green and flowers in that huge concrete mass! Shame on TCC for lack of creative ability!

more unecessary rates used

Posted on 26-08-2020 08:52 | By hapukafin

Wharf St was already closed off as a pedestrian precint.Heavy traffic was never going to use it again.Why is valuable rates money being wasted to dig it up to rebuild the street?A selection of large pot plants from our Council nursery regularly changed and set out in different patterns would set a refreshing atomosphere for outdoor diners and be cheap to do.How much was this project cossting?