InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism

Local

$10m Gawler Place cost blowout "worth it": Lord Mayor

Local

A $10 million cost blowout to the Gawler Place redevelopment will help “future-proof” the street for the next 50 years, Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor says.

Print article

Verschoor this morning officially opened the $17.6 million transformed Gawler Place, which was originally costed at $7.85 million and due to be finished before last November.

The street features wider footpaths, 35,000 new granite pavers, 15 mature trees, outdoor dining areas and two public artworks – with a third to be installed next year – between Grenfell Street and North Terrace.

It also incorporates 800 metres of new underground stormwater and drainage pipes, the inclusion of which forced the council to blow out its original budget by almost $10 million.

InDaily reported in July last year that council staff had, during initial construction work, discovered unexpected “complexities” in the underground infrastructure beneath Gawler Place that then Lord Mayor Martin Haese said would have been “financially irresponsible” to ignore.

In August this year, council staffers revealed they had encountered several other problems – including a water leak, “unsuitable material” underneath the pavement, and buried heritage footings – which forced it to provide an additional $837,000 in contingency funding.

“This project has been as much about what’s above the ground as what’s been below the ground,” Verschoor said this morning.

“It’s much more than just a road and a footpath renewal… we’ve created an attractive and more welcoming pedestrian-friendly area with lots of greenery, trees, shade, seating.

“The upgrade has also future-proofed this area for the next 50 years.”

The redeveloped Gawler Place featuring two public artworks titled “Ripples” and “Flow”. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

Verschoor said the additional spend was “worth it” due to the amount of unexpected underground work.

She said the project also helped bring Gawler Place – which was last upgraded in the 1960s – up to the same standard as the recently redeveloped Rundle Mall and Kintore Avenue.

“We’re not going to have to go back into the area – any other of the options would have meant that within ten years we would have been back underground and trying to refix the surface,” she said.

But some have already criticised the redeveloped street’s lack of bike parking.

Verschoor said this morning people could lock their bikes to the new bollards at Gawler Place.

“I’m looking forward to more bike parking coming into the space,” she said.

Gawler Place is one of the city’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares, with over 25,000 people passing through the street every day.

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Help our journalists uncover the facts

In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to donate to InDaily.

Donate here
Powered by PressPatron

More Local stories

Loading next article