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Downtown Ferry Terminal and Quay Street enhancement tour

Downtown Ferry Terminal and Quay Street enhancement tour

Talk to the engineers and designers who developed Auckland’s new ferry terminal and waterfront on the Downtown Ferry Terminal and Quay Street Enhancement Future-Fit Aotearoa Tour. We spoke to Eric van Essen, programme director for Auckland Transport, about the project and the tour.

Why should people attend this tour?

The delivery of five large integrated public infrastructure projects in downtown Auckland, valued at over $330m, is a once-in-a-generation event leading to a complete re-imagining of how people will experience and use downtown Auckland in the future. It’s truly transformational.

Why is the project so exciting to work on?

It’s exciting because of the diverse group of designers, advisors, planners and specialists I get to work with each day.

We’ve connected people and communities in one of the few real transit-oriented developments in Aotearoa, linking ferry, bus and train modes of public transport, incorporating public open space, retail shopping, office space and residential accommodation, with architectural features linking our heritage and the environment.

The Ferry Basin Redevelopment project creates six new ferry berths along the western side of Queens Wharf. The new infrastructure provides high-quality modern facilities with improved accessibility and greater operational flexibility, which will help accommodate increased passenger numbers.

What will people be most surprised about the project?

I think the scale and grandeur of the new ferry berths, gangways and large canopy structures and also the density and diversity of native vegetation introduced into Quay St, which has created an ‘urban forest’.

What were some of the most challenging parts of the project for you?

It was obtaining the several resource consents required for the projects. Obtaining the consent on time was the making or breaking of meeting the programme timeframes that we had committed to. It meant working through the concerns raised by affected stakeholders to find solutions and reach an agreement.

Construction was also very challenging with specialised and huge machinery while working in a very constrained space.

What would people be surprised to know?

The new space named ‘Te Wananga’ is an elevated coast shelf over the water, with tidal pool apertures cut through the decking so that people can see the sea below.

Thirty-eight kutai/mussel ropes are also attached to the underside of Te Wananga’s decking. Each mature mussel can filter 150-200 litres of seawater a day, removing sediment and pollutants and acting as bio-indicators for aquatic health in the inner Harbour.

Tour details:

  • 9.30am – 12pm
  • Meet at the footpath outside the heritage Ferry Building at Quay Street
  • Limited to 15 people

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