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The NZ Transport Agency is today welcoming the Government’s decision to put the Buckle Street section of SH1 (between Tory and Taranaki Streets) underground and create a new unified memorial precinct at the New Zealand War Memorial. The new park will be ready in time to serve as the centrepiece for the centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli landings in 2015.
NZTA Wellington state highways manager Rod James says that the NZTA is delighted to be working so closely with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the Wellington City Council on such a significant project. Mr James says the NZTA's principal role will be to enable the park's creation by undergrounding Buckle Street.
“Putting Buckle Street underground will improve the setting of the National War Memorial by removing traffic and opening the area up for the development of a park."
“The project will be developed to complement other planned transport improvements between the Terrace and Mt Vic tunnels. Decisions on which option will be progressed in the Basin Reserve area will be announced late next week.
"When we sought feedback from the public last year on our proposed transport improvements, the public told us that undergrounding Buckle Street to facilitate the development of Memorial Park was the prefered option for this section, and this announcement means that this will soon become a reality."
“The entire project will take approximately two years to complete. Buckle Street will be put into a trench and covered over so that the new Memorial Park can be built on top. Work to temporarily relocate Buckle Street will begin later this year, and the permanent undergrounding will begin in early 2013.”
Mr James also said that the NZTA would ensure that the planned works and temporary road would be designed to minimise disruption, both to area residents and the approximately 30,000 vehicles that use this road every day.
For more information, visit www.mch.govt.nz or www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/basin-reserve/overview.html#memorial.