Motorists driving in the Hamilton East-Hillcrest area this weekend are urged to plan ahead and prepare for major delays due to tree removal work happening in the area.
The removal of the trees, which will be replaced once construction has finished, is to allow for the on and off-road ramps for the Ring Road-Wairere Dr extension to be built.
A section of Cobham Dr, between Cambridge Rd and Galloway St, will be closed to vehicles Saturday 30 March and Sunday 31 March (weather permitting). The closures will start at 7am on both mornings with the road reopening each evening at 7pm.
“This is a complex and large-scale job for the team of arborists: these are big trees and their size means a crane is needed to pull out the trees being removed. To comply with the health and safety requirements we must close this section of Cobham Dr and undertake the felling during daylight hours,” says Council’s Capital Projects Manager Chris Barton.
“A number of these trees also pose challenges as they could be sheltering roosting bats for the night.
“Long-tailed bats are a native to New Zealand and in order to cut down any of these potential bat habitat trees, we must comply with our Department of Conservation Wildlife Permit, and several conditions must be met including dusk temperatures, maximum wind and wind gust readings, maximum rainfall received, and away from a full moon.
“It’s also important to the project we undertake this work prior to winter. If the weather conditions do not allow for felling to occur on the planned weekend the team will try for the following weekend of 6 and 7 April,” says Mr Barton.
There will be a city-street detour route in place during the closure but anyone in the Hamilton East-Hillcrest area is advised to avoid the roads around the closure and avoid using Cambridge Rd. Inter-regional travellers should consider alternative routes including SH1B and SH21.
Access for residents, businesses and Hamilton Gardens will be maintained and bus routes will not be affected, however road users may experience delays given the high volume of traffic on the alternative routes and local roads.
Emergency service vehicles will have access through the site.
The Ring Road-Wairere Dr extension is being jointly funded by the Council and the NZ Transport Agency and will see Cobham Dr raised to allow the four-laned Wairere Dr to pass underneath it and enable connection to the future bridge over the Waikato River to Peacocke.