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Day-time aerial view illustrative render of Adelaide Festival Plaza precinct, including a birds-eye-view of the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Plaza with cars driving on King William Road lined with Jacaranda trees.

The transformation of the Adelaide Festival Plaza into a world-class destination in the heart of the city’s Riverbank Precinct will begin next month, after the first construction contract was awarded.

Construction and development company Lendlease has won the approximately $21 million contract to lower Festival Drive, separating vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

The project will create a seamless pedestrian connection between the Adelaide Railway Station and Riverbank Footbridge, while also providing the foundations for the $300 million expansion of SKYCITY Adelaide.

The casino redevelopment, together with the Festival Plaza upgrade and the Walker Corporation’s – office building, retail area and car park upgrade, are worth more than $900 million.

Select tenders are also currently open for the $21 million Northern Promenade works which will include the creation of a new northern entrance to the Adelaide Festival Centre.

As well as lowering the Festival Drive, the first plaza works package will also involve constructing new loading docks for the InterContinental Adelaide, SKYCITY Casino and Adelaide Festival Centre.

Construction is expected to take approximately 12 months and, once the AFL season is complete, will involve the closure of the northern entrance to the Adelaide Railway Station.

Public access to the footbridge and the Adelaide Oval will be redirected to King William Road or a temporary pedestrian bridge, near the InterContinental Adelaide.

The Adelaide Festival Centre car park will close in early 2017 to allow for the construction of the new car park, office tower and the redevelopment of the Festival Plaza.

The redevelopment includes upgrading public spaces around the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Railway Station, SKYCITY Casino, Parliament House, Old Parliament House and Station Road.

It will include public artwork, water features, an art-themed playground, trees, shrubs and lawn, as well as ample seating and shelter to make it a year-round destination.

Together the projects in this precinct will provide a significant economic boost, supporting an estimated 2500 jobs during construction jobs and at least 400 ongoing jobs.

Premier Jay Weatherill said ‘This is an exciting milestone marking the start of work on a new landmark space in the heart of our great city. Again and again Adelaide is singled out as one of the most liveable cities in the world and with projects such as this redevelopment we will further cement that title. These works will kick-start the transformation of a long-neglected space into a vibrant destination for all South Australians to visit, spend time in and enjoy.’

He continued ‘These critical early works to lower the Festival Drive will create the basis for a pedestrian-friendly space which seamlessly links the icon sites of the Riverbank Precinct, such as the Adelaide Oval. As with any construction project, disruptions are inevitable and we are ensuring they are kept to a minimum and staged to limit impact on sporting fans heading to the oval.’

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