$6.5 mil­lion up­grade starts in Mt Al­bert

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

A $6.5 mil­lion up­grade of one of Auck­land’s old­est suburbs is un­der­way.

The Mt Al­bert town cen­tre up­grade be­gan on April 18, three years af­ter a plan was first pro­posed by the Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board.

Mt Al­bert, a key trans­port hub with hun­dreds of road users trav­el­ling through the cen­tre ev­ery day, was the sec­ond sub­urb to be es­tab­lished in Auck­land.

The up­grade, funded by the Lo­cal Board and de­liv­ered by Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Trans­port, will fea­ture more trees and gar­dens, wider foot­paths and bet­ter light­ing.

Cy­cle lanes, more bus shel­ters and bet­ter man­age­ment of stormwater runoff is also a part of the plan.

A new pedes­trian cross­ing will also be built, as well as bet­ter pedes­trian ac­cess to Mt Al­bert train sta­tion.

Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board chair­man Peter Haynes said the up­grade had been a top pri­or­ity and it was a re­lief to fi­nally see it hap­pen.

‘‘The up­grade of­fers the prospect of re­vers­ing the de­cline of the cen­tre af­ter many decades,’’ Haynes said.

‘‘Al­ready we are see­ing some ex­cit­ing new de­vel­op­ments, like the up-mar­ket Al­bert’s Post Bar, which should help at­tract lo­cal people back to the cen­tre.’’

Haynes said the streetscape would be trans­formed into an ele­gant, spa­cious and more invit­ing space.

There would be some dis­rup­tions dur­ing the up­grade, he said.

‘‘We know that many lo­cal res­i­dents avoid the cen­tre at the mo­ment. When the work is done, it’s over to them to make it a success.’’

Har­min­der Singh of Cheers NZ Liquor Mt Al­bert said the up­grade pleted.’’

Ge­or­gia Ri­ley-Wood of Ray White Mt Al­bert, lo­cated next to the Mt Al­bert train sta­tion, said she was look­ing for­ward to see­ing more trees and green space for people to en­joy.

The up­grade is ex­pected to be com­pleted by Fe­bru­ary.

TORIKA TOKALAU/FAIR­FAX NZ

The town cen­tre up­grade is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Fe­bru­ary.

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