Hamilton’s next new Waikato River bridge is progressing with Councillors getting the first glimpse of the bridge’s form.
At a briefing yesterday (30 April 2019), Hamilton City Council staff tabled four structural form options for the new bridge which will be south of the Hamilton Gardens, and be an essential gateway for Peacocke Hamilton’s next major growth area.
Each option included analysis on how each one met the budget, construction timeframe, stakeholder feedback, environmental impact and ability to construct in the location.
The next step in the process is to further develop the concept based on the preferred bridge structure which will include a range of aesthetic elements for the Council to consider in June 2019.
Our Strategic Development Manager Andrew Parsons says given the challenging site, four basic structural forms were found to do the job and will look great.
“The preferred structural form has a single main flat deck with a large pier on the south bank. This is the basic bones of the bridge and will now give us opportunity to further develop it aesthetically so it can be a great experience for people looking at, travelling on, or under the bridge,” says Mr Parsons.
Feedback from initial stakeholder workshops and the public Peacocke and southwest ‘Your Neighbourhood’ event was also presented to Councillors.
“What we heard was people were more interested in a great experience when walking and biking on the bridge rather than how it looked from a distance,” said Mr Parsons.
“One of the benefits of the preferred structure is it allows for changes in traffic or bike lane widths in the future.
“To make access and traveling using the bridge easy, it will include traffic lanes and have walking and biking paths on both sides connecting to existing and new networks. We’ll also keep in mind how some of our infrastructure ends up being used in other ways like steps which are often used for fitness.”
Construction of the bridge is expected to start in late 2020 and be completed in 2023/24.
The funding for the bridge was secured by the Council through the Government’s 10-Year interest-free Housing Infrastructure Fund and significant NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
Peacocke will be home for around 9000 people in the next 10 years and the bridge will transform the way Hamiltonians in the south travel to the east of the city including the Ring Road and Waikato University.
The preferred structural form still needs to be formally confirmed at the next Growth and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Tuesday 7 May 2019.