01 Jul 09 @ 09:10am by Adam Todd
THE endless upgrade of the city’s “cultural boulevard”, North Tce, will finally enter its next stage - but it will be a scaled-down version of the original plan.
The State Government this week committed just $2.06 million towards the $4.1 million project well short of the original price tag of $14 million.
Stage 3 of the project covers the section in front of Government House, between King William St and Kintore Ave.
Several key planks of the original plan including shifting the Boer War Memorial, demolishing the Government House fence and closing of Kintore Ave have been cut to save money.
The project will now be limited to a general spruce-up of Prince Henry Gardens to match the look of the first two stages between Kintore Ave and Pulteney St.
It will include new pavement, lighting, landscaping, public art and street furniture.
Stage 3, which was supposed to start last October, has been awaiting State Government funding, which Urban Development Minister Paul Holloway announced this week, in a cost-sharing arrangement with Adelaide City Council.
Works are expected to start within months and take about a year to complete, Lord Mayor Michael Harbison said.
“North Tce has been a great success, recognised nationally as the best piece of public realm work in the country,” he said.
Mr Harbison defended the cuts to the original plan.
“This does the bit that the government and the council are keen to see most, and that’s Prince Henry Gardens.
“People aren’t keen to close off Kintore Ave, they don’t want to knock down the Government House wall and they see shifting the Boer War statue as not really worth the investment.” Mr Harbison said future upgrades were planned further along the strip.
“It goes on for a very long time, from East Tce to West Tce,” he said.
Property Council of Australia state executive director Nathan Paine said the North Tce upgrade was vital for the city.
“It is better to have something happening, but Adelaide has a history of a piecemeal approach, and I think what we need to do is complete Light’s Vision and deliver a vibrant, active city, and that will attract investment from local, state and federal governments.”
“The North Tce upgrade is important but we have to look at it in the scheme of the whole square mile.”
Construction of the $14 million first stage, between Kintore Ave and Pulteney St, started in March 2003, and took about two years.
The $7 million second stage, between Pulteney St and Frome Rd, was finished last December.