Orewa Boulevard improvements designed to draw more visitors set to begin Orewa Boulevard improvements designed to draw more visitors set to begin

A highly anticipated improvement project to connect Orewa’s coastline, reserve and shops will get underway later this month.

The project, funded by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and supported by Destination Orewa Beach, is the part of an ambitious series of upgrades to Orewa Boulevard.

The improvement works, managed by Auckland Transport (AT), are designed to increase foot traffic between the beach, reserve and the shops and attract more visitors to the area, including important domestic tourists from the Auckland and Northland regions.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Chair Gary Brown says increasing domestic tourism to Orewa is critical to drive local recovery following COVID-19, amid ongoing uncertainty around the resumption of pre-COVID international tourism volumes.

“Our Boulevard is Orewa’s shop window, and these improvements will provide a pleasant and safe travelling environment for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and other users of our main thoroughfare,” says Brown.

He says connecting the beach and reserve with the shops will attract additional visitors to the area.

“Developing a world-class recreation and shopping precinct connected by safe, attractive routes for a wider range of road users will attract more visitors to Orewa,” he says.

Destination Orewa Beach CEO Hellen Wilkins says the improvements provide a much-needed connection between the coast and Orewa’s shopping precinct as well as making the area attractive to a wider range of visitors.

“Connecting local businesses with the hundreds of people who visit Orewa’s beautiful beach, as well as walkers and cyclists, will result in increased opportunities for local businesses when we need them the most,” says Wilkins.

AT Group Manager Infrastructure Project Delivery David Nelson says Auckland Transport is proud to deliver improvements which will provide a safer environment for all and drive commercial and recreational benefits for the Orewa community.

“To work towards our goal of reducing road deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2050, we are focused on working with Auckland communities to design and deliver a transport system that prioritises safety for all users.”

Auckland Transport has appointed Traffic Systems Limited to complete the work, planned to begin on 27 April, following a competitive tender process.

The improvement works, scheduled to occur between April and October, will include:

  • Extension of Orewa Boulevard from Riverside Road to Empire Road to connect the beach, shops and reserve.
  • Construction of a shared cycling and walking path on the beach side of Hibiscus Coast Highway and a new brick-paved footpath on the shop side.
  • Replacing the parallel parking on the beach side of Hibiscus Coast Hight with angled parking, creating an additional seven carparks.
  • Upgrading the two pedestrian crossings to raised zebra crossings catering for pedestrians and cyclists.

Orewa residents responded positively to safety improvements implemented by AT in 2020. In a survey conducted in July 2021, two thirds of Orewa respondents felt that the safety improvements made walking and cycling a safer option for children and seven in 10 are supportive of AT lowering speed limits and making engineering changes to improve road safety.       

The current works will take approximately 100 working days to complete, with the new and improved Orewa Boulevard expected to be ready for the start of the summer season.