CRL is not just about a rail project so a lot of careful thought is being given into the opportunities presented when the construction teams leave.
Here are some of the current planning concepts:
Queen Elizabeth Square (QEII Square) is a public space bounded by the Downtown Shopping Centre, HSBC and Zurich Buildings and opposite Britomart Transport Centre.
QEII Square was under-utilised due to the effects of shading and during 2015 sold by Auckland Council to developer Precinct Properties for $27.2 million to enable a section of the Commercial Bay development to be constructed on the site. The sale was subject to an Environment Court Hearing following appeal by interest groups.
Auckland Council is committed to providing an alternate public space.
So when the CRL work is completed, a pedestrian square will return to the Lower Queen Street area outside the main entrance to the Britomart Transport Centre.
The concept plan
Lower Queen Street as a public square
The City Rail Link Design team in conjunction with Auckland Council has been working on the design for Lower Queen Street and Britomart station surrounds for when the CRL work there is completed.
The concept design has just been completed for review by the Auckland Urban Design Panel and the City Centre Advisory Board.
What's proposed is a creation of a stunning plaza and pedestrian space for Auckland in Lower Queen Street outside the Britomart Transport Centre.
The team is working in partnership with Mana Whenua to generate a high quality flexible space that responds to the unique Auckland narrative.
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When the CRL work in Albert Street is done, it's a chance to upgrade the street - and especially ensuring a high quality public space for workers and business owners along the route.
Wider footpaths... trees... bus lanes... pedestrian-friendly.