A forgotten and neglected historic corner of Panmure is getting a major makeover as part of one of Auckland’s biggest transport projects.
Work is underway on upgrading and revitalising Van Damme’s Lagoon and reserve as part of Auckland Transport’s Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI). Watercare is also carrying out a stormwater pipe upgrade.
Just off Mt Wellington Highway, Van Damme’s Lagoon has been through a number of changes in its history.
From the 1870s, the lagoon provided water for steam engines and boilers for the Ireland brothers’ tannery, which processed 90 per cent of the Auckland province’s leather. Mr Van Damme bought the property in the 1930s, transforming it with landscaping, planting and stocking the ponds with goldfish and carp.
It was later used as a rubbish dump by a company that bought the land, until the local council bought it in 1975 and restored it to a nature reserve. In recent years the water quality has declined and it is difficult to access.
Auckland Transport will improve the stormwater quality and environment while providing an enhanced reserve for the community to enjoy. It will be close to the new AMETI road linking Mt Wellington Highway and Morrin Rd.
Two new carparks will be built to increase access to the lagoon. New and wider pedestrian paths will also be created.
As part of Watercare’s pipe bridge upgrade, new timber stairs on the north-eastern side and a new timber boardwalk will be constructed.
The reserve is closed to the public while the work is underway.
Auckland Transport’s Project Director, AMETI, Peter King, says the upgrade will have huge environmental and community benefits.
“By working together with Auckland Council and Watercare, we’re taking a holistic approach. With a large transport project like this, it is crucial to look at the overall picture to provide the community with an attractive reserve to enjoy as well as providing better transport choices.”
Other Van Damme’s Lagoon enhancements include:
- a new grassed open space (with amenities)
- weed removal and wetland planting to enhance water quality
- removal of sediment from the lagoon
- construction of a new maintenance access track
- construction of a new deck that will overlook the lagoon
- replacement of existing steps
Work is expected to be completed by mid-2014.
About the AMETI transport projects
The $1.5 billion Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) is a group of transport projects for the south east (Panmure, Mt Wellington, Pakuranga, Howick and Botany).
The aim is to give people in the area better transport choices by improving public transport, walking and cycling facilities and reducing traffic congestion. Other major aims are to create jobs by unlocking the economic potential of the area, improve transport for freight and business traffic and to promote good urban design.
AMETI Phase One: New road linking Mt Wellington Highway and Morrin Rd, Panmure Station upgrade, Van Damme’s Lagoon improvements, walking and cycling paths, busway bridge and two bridge replacements.
AMETI Phase Two: Panmure to Pakuranga – new intersection to replace Panmure roundabout, busway from Panmure Station to Pakuranga town centre, walking and cycle paths, Reeves Rd flyover in Pakuranga.
Future Developments: Sylvia Park bus interchange and route improvements, busway extended to Botany along the centre of Ti Rakau Dr, East-West link improvements, extension of new AMETI Rd to Merton Rd.