Work is progressing well along Claudelands Bridge and the Hamilton City Council project remains on track for completion by 6 October 2019.
Last week the speed limit was formally reduced to 30km/hr along the length of Claudelands Rd and new permanent signs have been installed to reflect the change.
Concrete separators have also been laid to create protected cycle lanes leading on and off the bridge. New to Hamilton, these separators, sometimes referred to as bike lane buffers, are used in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as well as several cities in Australia and the United Kingdom. They have been designed to meet national safety standards set by the NZTA and have proven an effective way of defining the space between people on bikes and motorists, giving confidence to people who are worried about riding in traffic. They are easy to install, replace or adjust if required, and also allow for water to flow through.
While providing off-road paths for pedestrians and people on bikes is always preferred, it is often very difficult to achieve this in a constrained site, like along Claudelands Bridge, hence the decision to install the concrete separators.
The Council’s City Transportation Unit Manager, Jason Harrison says: “We’re pleased with how the work is progressing and despite several days of rain, the project is running to schedule.”
“We understand the changes we’re making along this stretch of road are bold and unique for Hamilton. We can assure members of the public we’ve done our research and looked closely at the experiences of cities like Auckland and Christchurch which have invested heavily in new, cycle-friendly infrastructure in recent years.”
“We’re confident the new-look Claudelands Bridge will provide a safer connection to our central city for people on bikes and generally encourage more use of active transport in our growing city.”
In terms of the project’s progress and what’s ahead, four of seven raised platforms (designed to reduce traffic speeds) have been installed at various points along Claudelands Rd. Work will continue on the installation of the remaining three platforms over the coming week.
The next steps will involve landscaping at the Grey St end of Claudelands Rd followed by extensive road painting. The painting will include teal, textured bands on the road surface. These teal bands will create an element of visual surprise, ultimately to slow traffic and heighten motorists’ awareness of other road users, particularly people on bikes.
New road markings called sharrows (“sharing arrows”) will also be painted along sections of Claudelands Rd where it has not been possible to create a separated cycleway. The sharrows indicate people on bikes can claim the lane and ride in the flow of traffic. A city-wide education campaign to explain the purpose of these new road markings commenced this week and will continue over the coming weeks and months to ensure road users understand what they mean.