A busy city underpass will be transformed into a welcoming public space complete with green spaces, landscaped features, energy-efficient lighting, new seating and exercise spots.
The City of Sydney’s revitalisation of the Kent Street underpass, which connects Wynyard to Harbour North and Barangaroo, will see the space overhauled with pocket parks, new seating, lighting, exercise spots and landscaped features.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Kent Street Underpass project would offer growing numbers of people walking to Barangaroo a safer and better looking option at all times of the day.
“Improving the safety and amenity of this link will make it easier to use and more appealing for pedestrians and bike riders,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This is another important part of our work to build a city with safer and more convenient options for walking, supported by clear signage and wayfinding, interesting public art, and spaces that attract pedestrians.”
New street pavers to improve safety for walkers will be raised and separated from adjacent cycleways, while new energy-efficient lighting will make the area more attractive and better lit at night.
To further improve safety, a raised and paved shared zone is proposed at the York Street link road, slowing cars to 10 kilometres an hour and creating level access for pedestrians and bike riders.
Landscaping features will include new planting beds, and existing trees will be relocated to better positions to create attractive green spaces.
Gently sloped walking paths with no stairs, rest areas, and new seating placed for easier mobility will ensure the area is accessible for all. New wayfinding signs will also be included in the underpass redesign.
Temporary art installations and recreation activities, such as ping pong tables and areas for exercise, will open up the underpass as a convenient and attractive new inner city area.
The Kent Street Underpass site is owned by Roads and Maritime Services and is maintained by the City of Sydney. It was identified as a priority project in the Harbour Village North Public Domain Study.
The City has budgeted $37 million over the next ten years to improve the Harbour Village North public domain and support the increased pedestrian and cycling movements expected in the local area with the development of Barangaroo.
As part of this funding, the City has entered into a deed with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to contribute up to $6.3 million to the Headland Park integration works.
The Council of the City of Sydney has approved the concept designs following extensive community consultation. It will now do final design and exhibition processes and expects to begin construction in September 2015, with completion expected by the end of 2016.