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City underpass opens today


A pedestrian and cycling underpass that will take people safely under State Highway 1-Cobham Drive to the world renowned Hamilton Gardens and beyond has been officially opened today.

The $1.8 million project connects Hamilton East at Sillary Street, near the Grey Street-Cobham Drive corner, with the gardens and shared walkways on the southern side of Cobham Drive. It also connects with paths into the city, new paths along State Highway 3 and the Western Rail Trail which opened this year.

The NZ Transport Agency’s central North Island Regional Relationships Director, Parekawhia McLean, says the pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 will connect communities and visitors with the other side of the city.

“People will now be able to use this 4-metre wide, 27-metre long well-lit and level underpass to get across busy Cobham Drive by foot or on a bike or scooter.

“The underpass also connects with the wider network being built across Hamilton and gives people a safer, fun and more affordable option to get to work, school or for recreation,” Ms McLean says.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says the underpass is a great asset to the city and has been supported by cycle groups and the Hamilton East community.

“The project is another example where council has worked with partners to make Hamilton a better place to live, connecting our city and making it accessible for everyone.”

“It’s also great to see the NZ Transport Agency and Government investing in our community and with summer approaching I look forward to seeing Hamiltonians out and about enjoying our beautiful city”.

Jason Harrison, the Council’s Transport Unit Manager, says the underpass is another link in connecting our city and we hope Hamiltonians make good use out of it.

“The underpass includes murals of magical landscapes, organised by Creative Waikato on behalf of the Council, along  the walls of the underpass creating a safe, lively and friendly environment for people to enjoy.”

The underpass project has been funded by the NZ Transport Agency, on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

ribbon cutting

Local member of parliament Tim Macindoe, NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Parekawhia McLean, Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher, retiring engineer Peter Crosby and local member of Parliament David Bennett at the opening of the Cobham Drive underpass.