A ceramic pathway is taking shape on the landmark Clarks Lane footbridge, forming the centrepiece of urban design on the NZ Transport Agency's State Highway 18 Hobsonville Deviation and State Highway 16 Brigham Creek Extension project.
The shared pedestrian and cycle bridge is the bright yellow gateway structure above the motorway as motorists enter Waitakere City from the North Shore. The bridge is scheduled to be completed in September as part of the strategic Western Ring Route, which will create an alternative motorway route to SH1 and help ease congestion through central Auckland.
The NZ Transport Agency is collaborating with Waitakere City Council on an arts initiative which sees local Waitakere artists integrating their work to create strong visual aspects for the project. Ceramic tiles fired from local clay by local artists Matt and Kate McLean, will be paved on the bridge deck in July.
Each tile features screen printed images of cycling maps and topographical contours from the Hobsonville area, and cycle and truck treads. The tiles are made from a variety of clays from the area, that were part of an extensive pottery and brick making industry that used to be based at nearby Limeburners Bay.
The clay tiles form a ‘carpet’ which will also be a feature on the approaches to the bridge early next year.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker says the artworks are part of a design focus intended to help enhance the motorway environment.
“Besides giving access to pedestrians and cyclists over the motorway, the Clarks Lane footbridge also provides a historic connection to the area and the pioneering ceramics industry that was founded here,” he says.
The NZTA has also commissioned artist John Radford to create the Sinton Windows artwork which incorporates some of the windows salvaged from the original Sinton House homestead. The artwork, which will sit alongside the bridge near the relocated houses in Clarks Lane, will be completed in September. The design of this art feature reflects the heritage of Sinton House, which was unable to be relocated at the start of the motorway project. The Chair of Waitakere City Council’s Culture and Community Committee, Councillor Judy Lawley, says it is exciting to see artwork incorporated into this massive project.
“These works not only provide visual interest for users but reflect the rich history of the local community. Arts integration in city infrastructure is now firmly embedded and it’s making a difference to the attractiveness of our motorways and bridges throughout Auckland,” she says.
The 60 metre long bridge, which straddles either side of Clarks Lane, is made up of a two metre wide deck supported by 12 cables secured at the top of a 24 metre high central pylon. The unique and visually appealing cable stay design features special lighting to highlight the deck and cables. Yellow LED buttons set in the concrete deck will showcase a central dotted line across the bridge. The project team is also putting the finishing touches on the handrails to be installed on the bridge.
The six kilometre, four-lane Hobsonville motorway is the last section to be completed of the new SH18 and will connect to the Upper Harbour Bridge and Greenhithe sections at the eastern end and the Northwestern Motorway [SH16] to the west. The project also includes a three kilometre extension of SH16 to a new roundabout at Brigham Creek Road.
The NZTA’s $220M project will help reduce congestion on Hobsonville Road and will open up access to developing areas in Massey and Kumeu. The project, which will also help reduce travel times for motorists by providing a better connection between Waitakere and North Shore cities and Rodney District, is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
For more information on the SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension project, phone 0800 520 202 or visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/upperharbourmotorway(external link)