Active and public transport options are primary considerations for a new bridge and transport network in Hamilton’s south.
This week, Hamilton City Council awarded HEB Construction the contract to build the new bridge over the Waikato River and surrounding roads to connect Peacocke to Hillcrest and the eastern suburbs. Construction of the $135M project is set to get under way in October this year.
Chair of the Strategic Growth Committee Councillor Dave Macpherson said right from the beginning alternative modes of transport were front of mind.
“In the past we’ve looked at roads as a place for cars, but they are so much more than that. In Peacocke we’ve made sure pedestrians, people on bikes and public transport options are a key part of our planning.”
The plans include a network of underpasses, separated cycle paths and roads that prioritise buses and other public transport. These are anchored by the addition of a pedestrian bridge to make crossing the road safer and easier for people walking and cycling on the north-eastern side of the Waikato River.
“We’re already seeing some of these elements come together in the Ohaupo Road (SH3) roundabout and Wairere/Cobham interchange which are currently being built, and I’m pleased to see this approach to transport become a feature of the Peacocke neighbourhood.
“Not only does this give Hamiltonians a choice about how they get around, it also means they can do it safely in their own dedicated spaces.”
The transport network and new bridge over the Waikato River will be one of the main links to open up Peacocke to the rest of the city. It’s also expected to relieve some of the pressure on surrounding neighbourhoods as the area grows.
“We’re planning for up to 3,750 homes in the next 10 years, and it’s important we have the right infrastructure in place at the right time to support that development. Without the bridge and surrounding roads – this number of houses would simply not be possible.
“Peacocke is just kilometres from the central city and the bridge will open it up to other key connections like The University of Waikato. When the network is complete it will reduce congestion on local roads in the area and mitigate some of the environmental effects of transportation.”
The bridge and surrounding roads are expected to be completed in 2023.
Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, main roads, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.