Some great news that the work to upgrade O’Connell St to a shared space is now under-way.

O'Connell St upgrade starts

Construction is expected to be completed in August later this year. Due to the road being too narrow for two lanes, it has been closed to all traffic and temporary measures are being put in place so the shops along the street can have deliveries/rubbish collection etc.

O'Connell St upgrade road closed

Wouldn’t it be great if after the upgrade it could be left closed to traffic permanently.

The work will happen in three stages,

  • Stage 1: the roadway north of Vulcan Lane,
  • Stage 2: the roadway south of Vulcan Lane
  • Stage 3: the footpaths

O'Connell St upgrade stages

The other shared spaces have also spurred a lot of economic development, perhaps that’s why the Minister of Economic Development was there earlier today.

O'Connell St upgrade Joyce
Photo by Nick

And this is what the street is expected to eventually look like

O'Connell Design

O'Connell St

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  1. Hmm, loading zones at either end and a rubbish collection point… so why didn’t they just pedestrianise it exactly like that? Would have saved a bundle not having to engineer a pavement that was both pretty and could withstand garbage trucks.

    1. Hopefully the uniqueness comes from the use of the street once it is done. I believe the idea is to keep them relatively bland and samey to provide the ‘blank canvas’ for an interesting space. Pretty sure there was an artwork planned here too?

  2. Great to see cabinet ministers in our one city of scale and big economic engine… let’s hope they’re here to collaborate with the natives before scurrying off to their lifestyle blocks…..

  3. Does anyone know what’s happening to Federal Street by SkyCity – is that all finished yet?

  4. How much different is it really than if they’d just built the footpath level entrances and put planters at each end? Could save a bunch of cash and keep 90% of the advantages.

  5. Would be good to see something other than Nikau. They go a bit ratty when they’re used as street trees with no forest canopy to keep them moist. Would be good to have different trees for different zones.

      1. It’s pretty narrow, and having filmed down there recently during the day, I’m not sure it actually needs any trees. The buildings provide plenty of shade except in the middle of the day. Be nice to keep sunlight coming through in winter.

  6. Having been down there, its a very narrow street, almost like a Lane way (10m or so wide) Though it may not need any vegetation, it does help to draw people out from Freyburg square, creating the connection and link between open spaces. I like Nikau’s, they are upright, and require minimum canopy spread, and you do not want it to compete against the beautiful heritage facade! The street itself is a piece of art (not currently) I believe there are at least 6 buildings along here which are considered heritage buildings, and I am sure the upgrade of this street will help to draw the building characters out.

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