Wednesday 10 May 2017
Hamilton City Councillors today received an update on a concept design for a connection between the city’s Cobham Drive (State Highway 1) and Wairere Drive which would provide substantial benefits for all road users as well as supporting planned growth in the city.
The concept would see Cobham Drive raised to allow the Wairere Drive extension to pass beneath it, connecting to Cobham through on and off ramps and completing the city’s ring road network.
Previous designs for the link had included a roundabout with a pedestrian and cycle overbridge, and build an interchange in the longer term, once traffic flows increase.
The Council last year approved further design work on the connection with a view to how it could support future connections to support growth in the south of the city via a new bridge across the Waikato River.
City Development Unit Manager Andrew Parsons says the concept presented today meets the requirements previously identified by the Council, as well as being a far better option for pedestrians and people on bikes.
“Maintaining Wairere Drive at the lower level and raising Cobham Drive means we could extend the existing separated cycling and walking paths on both sides of Wairere Drive to connect with shared paths on Cobham Drive and to the Hamilton Gardens, providing safe and easy access,” Mr Parsons says.
“This design future-proofs our transport network for growth south of the city, including the Southern Links roading network, providing an effective long-term solution rather than building an interim connection now which may need to be replaced in a few years as our growth continues. The concept presented to Councillors today also aligns with development which may be supported through the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.”
The new intersection concept is endorsed by the NZ Transport Agency, which says it meets requirements for partner funding from the National Land Transport Programme.
Director Regional Relationships, Central North Island, Parekawhia McLean said: “The Transport Agency has been working closely with the City Council staff on the development of the new concept design because we recognise the level of growth in Hamilton and also because it provides the best benefits for all road users.”
The concept has an indicative budget of $30M to $38M through a joint funding proposal and a report will be presented to the Council’s Growth and Infrastructure Committee on 20 June. If approved, detailed designs and budget would be developed before being considered for construction funding through Council’s 10-Year-Plan process, with the earliest potential start date for construction being the summer of 2018.