Improving Albert Street for pedestrians and public transport reliability are the top considerations in a newly-released concept plan for the busy central Auckland route.
The preliminary designs show the potential of a reinstated Albert Street, once the City Rail Link (CRL) project’s underground tunnels and stations are completed.
The tree-lined Albert Street of the future has a vastly improved pedestrian environment, with broad footpaths, improved footpath (and road) surfaces, better bus stop facilities and attractive street furniture.
The design also provides for a reliable frequent bus service along the route, with dedicated bus lanes down both sides, as part of this city busway corridor.
Sustainability measures have also been considered in the design, including the potential to add a “green” wall of vertical plantings to one Albert St building, where space constraints prevent trees being planted in the footpath. Tree pits will be used to filter and cleanse road surface run-off before it goes out to sea. Materials and detailing have also been carefully chosen to make maintenance and operations more cost-effective.
CRL Design Manager, John Fellows, says in the future, Albert Street will be a much more attractive space than it is at present.
“It will be a great environment for promoting city life, for businesses, residents and pedestrians, extending and complementing the improvements to the city centre between Aotea Square and Quay Street,” he says.
“It will be a much more connected and pedestrian-focussed environment for people to use and enjoy - and this is absolutely necessary to cater for the increased number of people who will using Albert Street once the CRL is built. The future mid-town station, located under Albert Street, between Victoria and Wellesley Streets, will be the busiest on Auckland’s rail network.”
The Waitemata Local Board, the City Centre Advisory Board, Auckland Council’s Planning Committee and property owners were consulted on the Albert Street concepts and their feedback incorporated into the preliminary design. The concept will now be developed into a more detailed level of design for inclusion in the CRL delivery contracts.
The reinstatement works will start at the northern end of Albert Street (Quay St to Wyndham St) in 2018/19, once the current cut and cover tunnel works are complete. The southern end will be reinstated in about 2023, once the mid-town station and bored tunnel works are complete.