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Safety first at Tāmaki Drive intersection

Published: 9 July 2018
  • (Left to right) Orakei Local Board member Carmel Claridge, Orakei Councillor Desley Simpson, Bike Auckland Chairwoman Barb Cuthbert and Orakei Local Board Chairman Kit Parkinson.

One of Auckland’s highest risk intersections has been made safer ahead of schedule and nearly $1 million under budget.

The new intersection at Tāmaki Drive and Ngapipi Road includes controlled pedestrian crossings, new cycle lanes, traffic signals and reconfigured traffic lanes to make it safer for drivers, people walking and bike riders.

Before the upgrade, the intersection ranked number 10 on the top 100 list of high crash intersections in the country.

Much-needed safety improvements

Ōrākei Ward Councillor Desley Simpson says, “Delivering it two months ahead of schedule and close to $1 million under budget is a fantastic outcome for Auckland Transport and the contractor Fulton Hogan.”

Ōrākei Local Board Chair Kit Parkinson says, “The upgrade is a culmination of years of planning and community consultation to get a solution that not only addresses safety but enhances the functionality and recreational use for everyone that uses this popular scenic route.

“Poor visibility of cyclists and people walking, drivers failing to give way and lack of pedestrian crossings are some of the safety issues, which have been improved by the new road layout.

“It is important for locals to understand, that the upgrade was first and foremost about safety. It was not designed to speed up traffic flows. Auckland Transport acknowledges that there will be slightly longer trips for vehicles, particularly those travelling down Ngapipi Road. This was a known and expected outcome.

"This is a priority safety project for the Orakei Local Board and sets an example for future road safety projects and development in the area.”

Bike Auckland Chair Barb Cuthbert says the project will provide much-needed safety improvements for bike riders as well as pedestrians.

“We give full credit to the designers for creating a safer intersection with more space for people to enjoy the panoramic views of the Harbour and Hobson Bay.

"The contractors, Fulton Hogan, deserve recognition; they've been a joy to work with, keeping everyone safe and moving during a tricky construction process. Aucklanders have been well served by and have reason to be proud of this project.”

The new road layout and traffic signals will become operational this week.

Design features

Auckland Transport’s Group Manager of Major Projects David Nelson says, “The design addressed environmental concerns and preserved the coastal character of its surroundings. Specialist arborists and ecologists monitored the worksite, five pohutukawa trees on Ngapipi Road were kept, and views of the harbour remain open and exposed.

“Notably before the upgrade, untreated stormwater ran off the road directly into the harbour. Now there are three new stormwater treatment devices, as well as a rain garden that will help absorb and filter contaminants. Plants for the garden came from the nursery at Orakei Marae.”

Adding to the open space feel are the wider share paths created by extending out the seawalls. The extensions have the same bluestone/basalt stone facing, blending the new with the old. Wave reflection walls at the edge of the seawall will reduce waves coming over on to the road.

The $9 million project was funded by Auckland Council and NZ Transport Agency.

Traffic signals switched on during July school holidays

ATs traffic operation centre will monitor the intersection and traffic closely in the first few weeks of the signals being switched on to optimise the signal phasing.

Features of the upgraded intersection

  • Traffic lights with signalised pedestrian crossings on all approaches
  • Added a second left-turn lane on Ngapipi Road
  • Added a second lane on the westbound approach to Ngapipi Road
  • Extended the seawall on Tāmaki Drive and Ngapipi Road to provide space for the additional lanes and allow for future development such as the widening of Ngapipi Bridge and connection with new Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive shared path
  • Upgraded shared path.

Benefits

  • Increased safety for motorists, pedestrians and people on bikes
  • A wider footpath and extended seawall that allows for people to pause, rest and enjoy the area
  • Improved water quality by treating stormwater runoff
  • Preservation of existing pōhutukawa trees on Ngapipi Road.

Read more:

Orākei Transport