ADELAIDE City Council has announced that work is about to commence on the $4 million transformation of the western end of Hindley Street, which aims to renew and refresh the street between Liverpool and Register streets and provide an attractive, pedestrian-focused place for students and the public.
Announced in 2012 and funded with $1 million from the Federal Government under the Liveable Cities Program, and a further $1 million each from the State Government, Adelaide City Council and the University of South Australia, the project is being delivered by Fulton Hogan and gets underway this week.
According to the Council, key elements of the plan include an upgrade to the major crossing between UniSA's campus buildings on either side of Hindley Street, wider footpaths, granite stone paving, mature street trees, garden beds, lighting and street furniture.
Planning Minister John Rau said the government's support for the project reflects a strong commitment to the development of Adelaide as a more liveable and vibrant city.
"This project will be a great blueprint for another way of living in the city where pedestrians, bicycles and cars can coexist safely in a streetscape that is cleaner and greener and altogether more enjoyable," Mr Rau said.
"Our support of the west end project in partnership with federal and local governments and UniSA is also a great example of how much we value strong community partnerships that transform and showcase urban renewal."
Adelaide City Councillor Houssam Abiad said the reshaping of Hindley Street will be an important contributor to Council's master plan for the western precinct of the city.
"We want to see the West End thriving during the day, with more retail opportunities and economic development. The renewal of the western end of Hindley Street is the first step in rejuvenating this end of town and will open up opportunities for entrepreneurs to try out some new businesses ideas," Cr Abiad said.
University of South Australia Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said that when complete, the redevelopment will deliver one of the most welcoming and attractive streetscapes in the CBD.
"The whole west end precinct is undergoing a massive transformation with the construction of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the SA Health and Medical Research Institute, our own student learning centre, the Jeffrey Smart Building, and future projects such as the Centre for Cancer Biology building," Professor Lloyd said.
"This end of the city is going to have increasing numbers of students, workers and visitors who will be here every day so it is vital that the streetscapes are welcoming and more sympathetic to social interaction.
"The design consultants, Hassell, have just won an award for the planning and design process for this project so it will be exciting to see their vision made real," Professor Lloyd said.
Project manager, UniSA's John LeRay, said the extensive redevelopment has also provided the opportunity to allow underground services, including water and gas, to be checked, upgraded and rerouted where necessary.
"There has been such a strong spirit of collaboration, in part because we have invested a great deal of time in consulting with the community, the traders and businesses, and local residents," Mr LeRay said.
"We'll be doing the work as quickly as possible to minimise disruptions and we will continue to communicate the progress throughout the project."