Safety concerns at two city intersections have prompted Hamilton City Council to ring-fence $14 million for major upgrades.
In its 2021-31 draft Long-Term Plan, Council has confirmed it wants to upgrade the Gordonton Road/Puketaha Road intersection by building a $3 million roundabout. If it goes ahead, work will start later this year.
An $11 million upgrade of the Borman Road/Horsham Downs Road intersection is also on the table, with work proposed to start in 2024/25.
Based on advice from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Council is assuming no government subsidy will be available in the timeframes proposed. Instead, Hamilton ratepayers would carry the full cost, $4 per year for each ratepayer for the Gordonton Road project and $9 per year for the larger Borman Road project.
Infrastructure Operations Committee Chair Angela O’Leary said some Councillors were concerned about safety issues at both intersections and proposed bringing the work forward, ahead of the NZ Transport Agency schedule.
“Gordonton Road between Wairere Drive and Thomas Road has become increasingly busy over the past three years and we’ve already done quite a bit of work to improve safety,” she said.
“Work has begun on a shared walking and cycling path within the Huntington and St James areas and this year we’ll start upgrading the Darjon Drive intersection. But the road is becoming increasingly busy as more and more people live out that way.”
Growth has also driven safety concerns in Rototuna with cars now using other roads in the area not designed for heavier traffic. Council’s proposal is to upgrade the Horsham Downs Road/Borman Road intersection and the existing approach roads.
In the future, Borman Road will be extended from Kimbrae Drive to Horsham Downs Road but this work is not scheduled until 2029/2030. When this work is finished, Borman Road will link Kay Road in the west to Gordonton Road in the east.
“I know some people will want the work to begin sooner and others will prefer that Council wait in order to get the government subsidy,” O’Leary said.
“Whatever their preference, we need to hear it before final decisions are made.”
During discussions in December, not all Councillors supported the intersection upgrades but the majority agreed to put them in the draft budget and seek public feedback.
Final decisions will be made once the total Long-Term Plan budget is locked down in June this year. Before then, Council is undertaking a comprehensive public engagement programme on what it is proposing to spend – and when – over the next decade.
Public engagement on the Long-Term Plan runs until 7 April.