22 September 2020
Memorial Drive to close to through traffic permanently as part of Lakefront Redevelopment
As part of the Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment, Memorial Drive will be permanently closed from 28 September 2020.
Campbell Infrastructure will then begin work to transform Memorial Drive into a car park and plaza, rather than a thoroughfare.
Rotorua Lakes Council’s General Manager Operations, Jocelyn Mikaere, explains the new design.
“The new lakefront design aims to provide more space for people to gather, play, exercise and relax. A key part of this was reconnecting the land and the water, as well as creating spaces for recreation that are uninterrupted by roads and vehicles. The existing road along the lake edge will be removed to prioritise pedestrian and cycle movement and Memorial Drive will become a car park and plaza rather than a thoroughfare.
“The work beginning on Memorial Drive next week will involve expanding the space to provide a larger variety of parking for lakefront visitors, including mobility, motorcycle and bicycle parking. The new design of Memorial Drive will also make it suitable for events and markets.
“Once work on Memorial Drive is complete, the parking spaces here will be time limited to ensure availability of spaces for lakefront visitors. Once the entire lakefront project is complete, the total number of car parks available at the lakefront will remain approximately the same as before the development and the main parking areas will be on Memorial Drive and off Tūtānekai Street.”
The work on Memorial Drive will be ongoing until February 2021.
While work is underway, there will be no vehicle access to this side of the lakefront and limited pedestrian access. The public toilets on this side of the lakefront will remain open for the majority of the works, with only a short closure planned for early October. The temporary footpath currently in place linking Motutara Point to the lakefront will also be maintained to ensure pedestrians and cyclists can still make this connection.
Work continues along the lake edge, where HEB Construction is creating the new boardwalk and terracing. Waiotahi Contractors continue with their services diversions and will soon be placing preload material in preparation for the playground construction. Campbell Infrastructure has almost completed their initial work in the existing playground area. This has involved removing existing parts of the playground, completing earthworks and connecting services in readiness for new play equipment and outdoor furniture. They will then move onto Stage 4 (Memorial Drive).
Illustrated plan of Memorial Drive by Isthmus
Background information on Lakefront Redevelopment
In 2018, a $19.9 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment was announced for the project. This is being used alongside $20.1 million of Council funding to transform this recreational, economic and cultural resource. In July 2020, an additional $1 million PGF investment to progress work on a cultural overlay for the lakefront project was announced. The cultural overlay will consist of artwork, interpretation and design, with local artists creating carved pou, and information panels that will tell the pakiwaitara (stories) of mana whenua. The lakefront design has been made possible through the support of our partners, the Gifted Reserves Committee (Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust) and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. The design reflects the heritage and ongoing contribution of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa to the Rotorua district. Together, our vision is to develop the lakefront into an outstanding recreational area that will benefit locals, support tourism, and encourage private investment, which will in turn create new jobs and benefit Rotorua’s community.