Buckle St park work begins, but no road plan

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 10/03/2011

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Work is beginning on a park in Wellington's Buckle St, but not on the roading project it is linked to.

A proposal to build a tunnel under Buckle St linking to a flyover around or tunnel under the Basin Reserve and onwards to the Mt Victoria Tunnel was still not decided on, a spokesman for Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson said.

The proposed tunnel would turn the existing stretch of Buckle St, between Taranaki and Tory streets, into a park extending to disused crown land beyond.

Mr Finlayson's spokesman said the $450,000 project starting this week would tidy up the area "and start the phase one part of the process".

The area next to Mt Cook School – a disused concrete lot – would be turned into a mixture of grass, concrete, and a tree nursery for the eventual memorial park.

No roads would be moved in this phase, he said.

The park was scheduled to be finished by Anzac Day, in late April.

Mr Finlayson said the work would give people access to the area and use as a public space "until plans for the wider memorial precinct, including roading, are finalised".

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said she was glad the area would be "cheered up".

She supported a tunnel under the section of Buckle St between Taranaki and Tory St but realised the estimated $60 million price tag made it unlikely.

She opposed any roading options around the Basin Reserve, such as an extended tunnel or flyover, that would increase capacity.

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- The Dominion Post

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