Another corner of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor (OARC) is a step closer to being transformed, with public consultation to redevelop Avon Park beginning today.
The Christchurch City Council is seeking feedback on its plans to turn Avon Park’s lower terrace into a naturalised wetland, upgrade the playground facilities, allow space for the City to Sea Pathway to run through the park, and looking to formally stop Avonside Drive between Kerrs Road and Wainoni Road.
Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge, says the plans for the park and surrounding pockets of regeneration area will incorporate the City to Sea Pathway, improve local ecology and upgrade the current recreational facilities.
“Our proposed changes to the Avon Park could see the lower terrace transformed to an ecologically restored wetland, and with improved play and recreational facilities installed on the higher ground. The City to Sea Pathway will run through the heart of the park,” Mr Rutledge says.
“We’re grateful to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust who are funding the upper terrace portion of this proposed work.
As part of this work, the western section of Avonside Drive bordering Avon Park will be shut and become wetland. The Council is also considering formally stopping Avonside Drive between Kerrs Road and Wainoni Road in the future, and changing the section of road between 144 Kerrs Road and Kerrs Reach into a parks’ access road.
“Stopping and eventually closing this eastern section of Avonside Drive could improve the safety of recreational users in the OARC, as well as making provisions to ecologically restore that area in the future, but we want to hear people’s thoughts on this before we proceed with the formal road-stopping process,” Mr Rutledge says.
“Staff traffic reports that were completed in 2021 showed that while Avonside Drive daily traffic flow is at the lower end of the range, the average vehicle speeds are high. This is mostly due to the fact the road looks like a rural road, but the high speeds are concerning and pose a safety risk to other users of the OARC.
“Closing this section of Avonside Drive would slightly increase the daily number of vehicles using the surrounding minor arterial roads, but they will remain within the average traffic volume range.”
Construction of the area is expected to start next summer, and is estimated to be completed by mid 2025.
People can have their say on the proposed changes to the Avon Park area here. Consultation closes on 10 March 2023.
For general information on the OARC, visit ccc.govt.nz/oarc