In a first for Auckland Transport (AT), a cost-effective recycled rubber roundabout has been installed – making a central Waiuku intersection safer for all road users.
The intersection of Queen Street, Victoria Avenue and Court Street now has the innovative rubber product being trialled.
The problematic intersection saw a total of 11 crashes between 2015 and 2019 - with two resulting in serious injuries.
The rubber roundabout is expected to lower driving speeds at this intersection and was fitted cheaply, compared to a more expensive concrete roundabout.
The idea was first raised by the Franklin Local Board, and the councillor for the area - Deputy Mayor of Auckland Bill Cashmore.
Mr Cashmore says the use of recycled rubber for a roundabout is a first for Auckland Transport (AT).
“It ticks so many boxes - environmental sustainability, build speed, cost and resilience of the material. It’s great that Waiuku can gain a road safety measure that’s fit for purpose.”
Matthew Murphy of the Franklin Local Board says he is pleased that a quick and cost-effective way of transforming a problem intersection is being trialled in Waiuku.
“This will make the intersection safer for vehicles and pedestrians, while being built quickly and relatively cheaply. It will provide a solution for our town that would usually cost a fortune and create massive disruption during construction. I see this as a pragmatic outcome with heaps of benefits.”
Franklin Local Board Chair Andy Baker says the intersection has been getting busier and it’s great that AT looked around for more cost-effective options to try to make it safer and easier for all road users.
The rubber product is relatively new to New Zealand and was supplied by Traffic Products Australia. The product was shipped in pieces and assembled on site.
The chosen rubber product is widely used in Australia and the product materials are environmentally-friendly.
Auckland Transport’s Melanie Alexander says at locations like this, where it is appropriate to do so, AT wants to be able to roll out tactical solutions that cost less.
“The product needs to be stress-tested, before it’s rolled out more widely across the Auckland network. If the product works, then we have yet another tool to quickly tackle safety issues on our roads.”
The installation of the rubber roundabout was coordinated with road repair work to reseal the intersection.
The work included the addition of new rubber side islands, at the temporary pedestrian crossings, to help people cross the road safely.
Projects like this one are another step towards AT’s goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. AT is guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures.