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New underpass takes shape on Bay Link

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People who are travelling past the Bay Link construction site on foot or by bike will have noticed the new pedestrian and cyclist underpass taking shape.

The box structures that form part of the underpass entrances can be seen from the pedestrian and cycle footpath on the Matapihi verge, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton.

“Given the importance the community has placed on the underpass, we’re excited for people to be able to start to see how the final underpass will look,” says Ms Wilton.

The new underpass is being built in a similar location to the former underpass. It includes two separate reinforced concrete entrances and closed box sections located on the Bayfair and Matapihi sides of State Highway 2. The entrances will be connected by an open-air trench located under the new four-span flyover bridge at Bayfair.

“There has been a strong focus on safety and crime prevention throughout the design process for the new underpass.

“Features such as wide ‘flares’ at the entrances will provide clear lines of sight and the open-air trench will reduce any ‘closed-in’ feeling. Lighting features and CCTV cameras will be installed throughout the underpass to provide another layer of security,” says Ms Wilton.

The project team is also working with iwi partners on the cultural elements for the underpass.

“We know many people will be looking forward to using this facility, which will open on completion of the project.

“Under COVID-19 Alert Level 4, major project work – such as that on the Bay Link project – is not considered essential and has been paused. Only essential work to ensure security, safety and environmental protection is able to continue.

“It is too early to say what impact the lockdown might have on the project at this stage,” says Ms Wilton.

Both entrances will be approximately 3 metres wide and 2.5 metres high. The Bayfair side of the underpass will be approximately 18 metres long and the Matapihi side approximately 12 metres. The open-air trench connecting the two sides will be approximately 4 metres wide and 50 to 60 metres long with sloping sides.

On completion of the project, people who walk and cycle will have safer and improved connections, with the option to travel through the new underpass or use the new signalised crossing through the Bayfair roundabout.

The eastern box section of the underpass on the Bayfair verge.

Artist’s impression of the cycling and pedestrian underpass. View of the open-air trench.

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