Two new bridges are being built across the motorway at Northcote Road to increase walking and bike connections for people in the area.
Auckland Transport’s Portfolio Delivery Manager, David Nelson, says the $11 million project is needed to cope with the demand from people walking and riding bikes and scooters.
“Hillcrest and Smales Farm host thousands of students, commuters, workers, sports players and people visiting the hospital every day. These new bridges will provide extra capacity and increased safety for now and into the future," he says.
On one side of the motorway sit Takapuna Normal Intermediate, Westlake Girls, Smales Farm Business Park, the bus station and North Shore Hospital. On the other side are Takapuna Golf Course, hundreds of homes and Onewa Domain with its netball, cricket, athletics and rugby facilities.
The bridges, both 3.3 metres wide will be built on either side of the current road bridge. This will complete the Northcote Safe Cycle Route project, 5.2 kilometres of walking and cycling improvements along Northcote Road, Lake Road and Queen Street on the North Shore. Around 400 cycling trips per day are made on the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, and that number is continuing to rise. This adds to the increase of cycling trips made across the Auckland region, with 3.78 million trips made in the past 12 months.
Reuben Kirkwood of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Iwi has created a custom artwork that extends across the span of the bridges. The artwork represents visually at day and night, the founding of the volcanic landscape in Tāmaki.
Mr Kirkwood says, “The Maori deities, Mataaho (keeper of Earth's secrets), Mahuika (deity of fire), and Rūamoko (deity of volcanoes), are acknowledged as alternating and interwoven threads depicting power, distortion, seismic upheaval, and the resulting creation of Pupuke.”
The construction contract has been awarded to Dempsey Wood and the one-year construction period is planned to begin in November.
For more information on the cycle route visit the Auckland Transport website.