Multimillion dollar Pahiatua town centre upgrade a winner

Construction on the Pahiatua Town Centre Upgrade is almost complete and as the project nears the finish line, all involved are celebrating major wins.

Through collaboration with various partners, the Tararua District Council and the Project Team have been able to get the best value from the project, saving ratepayers money and delivering value for money spent.

Early in the project, in December 2018, council secured $160,000 from the Central Energy Trust to upgrade the under-veranda lighting – a major win for the project – and while it has since been found that a majority of the canopies are not fit to accept light fittings, the alternative option still falls within the confirmed funding grant.

Installing the fittings to the canopies would have resulted in ongoing costs for council, so the alternative option has seen the installation of poles at 15-meter intervals, with tubular LED light fittings. This option also complies with pedestrian lighting specifications.

Another major win for the project has been the future-proofing for power and telecommunication services. Peter Wimsett, Council’s Manager – Strategy and Climate Change notes, “Council have worked with PowerCo, Chorus and Inspire Net to future proof the Pahiatua Central Business District (CBD) area by providing underground power and fibre optic ducts. Some are already being used for new street lighting and the livening of two fast electric vehicle chargers in Wakeman Street in June. We now have the infrastructure in place for a range of options. This will significantly reduce costs and help minimize disruption of many future projects.”

Project Manager, Stuart Malins, said he’s very happy with progress despite wet weather in the past couple of weeks.

“We are aiming for work to be completed at the mid to end of June, although there may be some minor works after that, and there will be an opening on August 13,” he said.

Asphalt at Wakeman, Tui and Princess Streets was laid last week and now line marking for carparks and footpath asphalt is going down at the southern end of Pahiatua.

“Electrical work is being carried out on the lights in the centre island and we are starting to put in some of the graphical imagery, along with planting at the end of the week,” Stuart said.

Tararua District Mayor, Tracey Collis, said the most pleasing thing for her has been seeing people enjoying the seating.

“Driving through Pahiatua recently, I saw a young couple sitting and eating their takeaways at night. The area is so well lit so seeing people utilising the spaces as planned is wonderful,” she said.

“I know it has been painful for businesses during this upgrade with the disruption to roads and outside their premises, but now they’ll be able to see the benefits.”

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