Work starts next week (22 May) to build a safe crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists under State Highway 1-Cobham Drive in Hamilton.
The 27-metres underpass will connect Hamilton East at Sillary Street, near the Grey Street-Cobham Drive intersection, with the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and shared pathways nearby and into the city.
While two lanes will be maintained on Cobham Drive during the work, road users may encounter delays. There will be a 50km/h speed restriction and from early June to the end of August there will be no right turn into Grey Street.
A deep channel needs to be dug across the highway and 18 concrete sections of the underpass dropped into place. Traffic lanes will move as the build and fill process goes on. The NZ Transport Agency, which builds and maintains state highways, says the $1.4 million project will be completed in September.
Four-lane Cobham Drive, which carries a daily average of 28,000 vehicles and has a posted speed limit of 80km/h, is a barrier to cyclists and pedestrians wishing to get to the Gardens and into the city.
“The 4-metre wide, well-lit and level underpass is a safe and user-friendly option,” says Transport Agency Highway Manager Karen Boyt.
“It will provide good access to the Gardens and existing paths.
“We will be working hard to minimise delays at the construction site but we ask people to be patient, factor in a little extra time or consider other routes.”
Hamilton City Council Transport Unit Manager Jason Harrison says the project will be welcomed by local residents.
“Hamilton is a great city for walking and biking, and we’ve already got around 150km of on and off road cycleways. This underpass is another link in connecting our city and we look forward to its opening later in the year.”