A temporary roundabout on State Highway 1 (SH1) in Cambridge will get a $450,000 revamp so it can stay in place, thanks to a partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and Waipa District Council.
The Transport Agency and council have today (Wednesday September 17) confirmed a design for a new, semi-permanent roundabout at the intersection of SH1 and Shakespeare Street, in Cambridge.
Work on the roundabout improvements will start this summer and the $450,000 cost will be jointly funded.
The current roundabout was built to replace a T-intersection and ease traffic congestion, while work to repair Cambridge’s high-level local road bridge was underway.
After the bridge repairs were complete, the plan was to remove the temporary roundabout as it was costly to maintain and did not provide a safe long-term solution for SH1 users.
However, Cambridge locals strongly advocated for it to remain in place, contacting both the Transport Agency and Waipa District Council to have their say.
In June, work started to find a solution that would improve safety issues, and which the local community could afford.
Waipa District Council Roading manager, Dawn Inglis, said the Transport Agency and council staff had worked hard to find a solution to safety concerns “without breaking the bank”.
“We have a design that’s not perfect, but it is preferable to going back to a T-intersection and it will certainly please locals who have been very clear about what they wanted,” Ms Inglis said.
“This semi-permanent roundabout will stay in place at least until a final one is built when the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway is complete in 2016.
“At that point, it’s anticipated far fewer trucks will use the route and it will be a local road, under council’s control. We can continue to monitor the situation to see if further work is needed.”
Work on the semi-permanent roundabout is expected to take four weeks and will begin in January when traffic flows are lightest.
The new design will see the northern turn from Shakespeare St widened and the camber improved for large trucks.
The central island will be filled in and replaced with a permanent kerb, and traffic islands to the south will be extended. For the meantime, the south-bound slip lane will remain.
“The slip lane might not be needed once the Expressway opens but we can assess that at the time,” Ms Inglis said.
The Transport Agency’s regional performance manager, Karen Boyt, said improving the roundabout design so it could remain in place was a good example of parties working together.
“We couldn’t leave the temporary roundabout as it was – as our priority is the safe and efficient movement of traffic on state highways,” she said.
“But Waipa residents obviously found the roundabout a huge improvement on the old T-intersection.
“This solution is a great example of what can be achieved when we all work together; it is a win-win for everybody.”
A temporary roundabout on the SH1 and Shakespeare Street intersection in Cambridge is set to get a $450,000 upgrade this summer. Photo credit: Jeremy Smith
For more information please contact:
Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Waipa District Council)
T: 0275077 599
Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
NZ Transport Agency
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928413