Brightwater is set to get a major upgrade in the coming months.

A recently-announced project will see Ellis Street, the main street in Brightwater, redesigned and upgraded.
With a cost of $1.4million, the Brightwater overhaul is set to be tendered next month.

Construction is set to begin in September, with a completion date of June 2020.

The Tasman District Council says the need for an upgraded centre for Brightwater came as the community is rapidly growing, and that the growth puts pressures on the main street and community hub.

The development has a large focus on road safety, slowing traffic down and creating larger shared pedestrian and cycle spaces.

Aleisha Hosie, secretary of the Brightwater Community Association, says that the upgrade is ‘much needed’.

“Brightwater is a fast-growing area, lots of young families live here now, and it needs to be safer for our kids. We need a positive investment for our community.”

The community response to the plan has been a positive one, with Aleisha saying that the council has been “fantastic” in working closely with the community.

“They have come to our community meetings, sought our ideas, and made changes. They consulted with us about what we wanted.”

One of the main concern residents raised was speed and traffic, with many young families worried about road safety.

Roundabouts and other traffic calming features will be added with the aim of keeping speeds down, and the upgrade also plans to develop wider, more clearly defined footpaths that will create a safe space for kids travelling to school, whether they’re walking or cycling.

A raised roundabout will be added at the Lord Rutherford / Ellis Street intersection to control traffic, and the undergrounding of overhead powerlines will help with a range of street improvements, including improved street lighting and adding accessibility to the park, village green and stream.

Another of the key features of the upgrade will see the street embrace the natural landscape, enhancing the local stream and improving drainage and the landscape, and will see more trees planted along the street.

Councillor Dana Wesley says the addition of trees and more green space is a big win for Brightwater.

“The more green space you live near, the better your health and well-being. Greenery is important for kids if they’re walking to school, they have shade, and the biodiversity brings different types of birds.”

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