Plans for the Lombard laneway upgrade
A great time was had by all at the Lombard Lane opening on 3 November 2017.
About the upgrade
Lombard Street links Manners Street and Victoria Street at the eastern end of Bond Street. This busy pedestrian thoroughfare forms an important connection between Manners, Bond, Victoria and Cuba Streets. Alongside Lombard Street lies Denton Park – which offers people a sunny, sheltered greenspace in downtown Wellington.
We want to increase the vitality and usability of the space by creating a more attractive pedestrian environment with robust, anti-slip ground surfaces, improved lighting and enhanced greenspaces. The Council wants to encourage use of the space throughout the day to increase safety and support local businesses.
Lombard Street is being transformed into more than just a shortcut, by providing the public with a vibrant and greener urban environment, encouraging growth opportunities for businesses, and a sense of community for local residents. An improved environment with increased numbers of visitors creates a safer place for people who live, work, and play here.
The project supports the recently developed of building on the corner of Victoria and Manners Streets by Cook Straight Properties creating a new attractive streetscape and greenspace for the city.
What is planned
Funding has been allocated within the Wellington City Council Long Term Plan to undertake the project to improve pedestrian connection, support the development of the Victoria/Manners corner, and reflect the unique character of the area. The key objectives of the project are to:
- emphasise the entrances to Lombard Street so it’s easier for people to find their way around
- refurbish the park space and increase the number of plants and trees
- improve the quality and slip-resistance of ground surfaces within the lane, park, and street
- improve the Bond/Victoria Street junction and reduce the vehicle dominance of the junction
- provide imaginative lighting to create focal points and improve safety
- acknowledge local heritage within the design.
Lombard laneway from Victoria St
Businesses, retailers, and apartments
Manners and Victoria Streets are heavily used by pedestrians and form some of Wellington’s busiest retail streets. The area contained by Manners, Victoria, Cuba, and Wakefield Streets are home to a range of apartment buildings, hotels/hostels, and small businesses. The Council is working with property owners to encourage the opening out of blank building facades to increase activity and vitality in this area and provide opportunities for independent or emerging businesses.
The area between Cuba and Victoria Street once formed the original shoreline of the Wellington waterfront. This means the area has had a varied maritime history including it once being the site of wharves, timber yards, and maritime administration buildings such as the Customhouse and a Bond Store.
The area was also important to the nearby Te Aro Pa and was notable for the location of earthwork defences capable of protecting settlers in the event of armed conflict between Māori and Europeans, however, no conflict took place at these defences. The project will acknowledge this varied history through its design features.
Excavation work on the site has already delivered some artefacts including a pipe, ceramics, ring, and a wall. The work was carried out under an archaeological authority issued by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Images in gallery below.
- Procurement: February-April 2017
- Construction: Starts June 2017 and estimated to take approximately 10 months*
* The construction programme is an estimate only and subject to weather conditions.
Current diversions in place
At times some pedestrian and vehicle diversions will be required to ensure the safety of public while works are undertaken.
The entrance to Lombard laneway from Manners Street is now open. People can access local businesses and the Lombard car park as usual. Alternative routes are marked by signs at the site. Access is still available off Victoria/Bond Street and Cuba Street.