Parsons Street East, 3D rendering. Courtesy ASTC, CAT Projects, and Susan Dugdale & Associates.
By KIERAN FINNANE
The architectural design for the redevelopment of the northern end of Todd Mall and Parsons Street is all but complete. The key visual features of the design are the moth-like shade structures, which will be placed in a number of clusters along the eastern side of the mall and the southern side of Parsons Street.
Their central poles will be used to support much of the street furniture that at present clutters the street-scape. This includes CCTV cameras, bike racks, rubbish bins and lighting. Some of the moth wings will also become the canvas for public art work, the brief for which is also nearing completion.
Seating beneath the moths will be in the form of brick benches, using bricks from the rotunda which will be dismantled, with particular attention to the ‘founder bricks’ bearing the names of local families and individuals.
Underground services have now been identified, the plan for engineering works is finished and being reviewed, and the lighting and electrical design is well progressed.
This update was provided to the Alice Springs Town Council on Monday by Lyndon Frearson, general manager of CAT Projects, who are project managing the revitalisation works.
The traffic management report is completed, with a peak of 2500 vehicle movements per day being planned for.
While works are underway the vacant site of the old Mobil Palms petrol station will be used as a temporary carpark. Whether it remains a carpark afterwards will be up to the owners, said Mr Frearson.
The owners of the ANZ carpark (Yeperenye Pty Ltd) have agreed to a redesign, with a new entrance to the carpark from Leichardt Terrace.
The CCTV camera design is underway, and regulatory approvals are in place with the exception of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) approvals. Mr Frearson said all works are consistent with the discussions held with AAPA and he did not expect any delays.
The horticulture brief is “60% complete”.
As has been widely canvassed, the northern end of the mall will be opened to two-way traffic turning east into Parsons Street. Light traffic will be able to travel in both directions, said Mr Frearson, but heavy vehicles will only be able to go one way, entering Parsons Street from Leichardt Terrace and travelling northwards up the mall to Wills Terrace. Red bitumen will be used for the road surface.
Where the rotunda and sails are now will become a “shared zone” for both pedestrians and vehicles (design pictured above). Different coloured and textured surfaces will signal the transitions and crash bollards will mark the edges, providing a safety barrier for pedestrians. The bollards will be able to be moved to change the configuration of the space, for instance on market days, closing off certain areas to traffic.
A space has been created in front of the “grandfather tree” (on the western side of Parsons Street) for a temporary stage. A performance area in the vicinity of Adelaide House is part of the concept for the later stages of the revitalisation project, but these stages are unfunded and their future uncertain.
Work is expected to begin in the last week of September and Parsons Street will be usable in time for the Christmas markets.