Construction has started on Tamaki Drive to upgrade walking and cycling facilities, forming a critical link in Auckland city's network of cycleways.
The project also improves flood protection by lifting the road.The project was launched the morning of Sunday 16 February 2020 with a sod turning by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff.
Image: Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff at the launch on Tamaki Drive.
A new two-way separated cycleway will be built along the seaward side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. Once completed the cycleway will connect with cycle routes to Glen Innes, Parnell and the central city.
During construction, low spots on Tamaki Drive will be raised up to half a metre to help improve protection against seasonal flooding from the sea frequently experienced in the area. A separate path for pedestrians will also be constructed.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, "This project serves twin purposes for Tamaki Drive and for Auckland. Significant engineering works will raise low sections of the road by up to half a metre to help reduce coastal flooding caused by king tides and storms.
"The greater frequency of flooding, and sea level rises caused by climate change, make this work essential to stop ever more frequent road closures.
"As the effects of sea-level rise caused by global heating become more pronounced, we need to provide infrastructure that will mitigate the damage it causes.
"Likewise, we need to provide options for Aucklanders to get around the city without having to drive their cars, in order to reduce transport-related carbon emissions and traffic congestion on our roads."
Shane Ellison, AT's Chief Executive says Tamaki Drive is Auckland's most popular route to walk, run or to ride a bike or scooter. "It's the city's busiest bike route, averaging more than 1500 cycle trips a day.
"The project aims to deliver a high quality, safe and attractive route that caters for everyone who rides a bike, walks or goes for a run.
"It forms a critically important cycling connection as there are no alternatives for bike riders in the east-west direction from the eastern suburbs and the city centre."
To the west, the Tamaki Drive Cycleway will connect to the proposed Quay Street Cycleway and the existing Beach Road Cycleway to the city. To the east, it will connect to Tamaki Drive at the Ngapipi Road intersection and to the planned Glenn Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path. The 7km route is being constructed in four stages, with final completion targeted by 2022.
A tidal flow traffic management system will be used during construction which allows a lane of traffic to change direction to maximise traffic flow during peak periods, minimising disruption and delays during the works.
During morning peak there will be two lanes open, heading towards the city, and during evening peak, there will be two lanes open, heading east. Outside of these times, single lanes will operate but additional lanes may be maintained if work allows.
The $14.4m cost of the Tamaki Drive project is shared by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.
The Ōrākei Local Board supports the work with Chair, Scott Milne saying, "This is another link in the chain of new initiatives planned for the coming months and years and has been long awaited by the community. Everyone is looking forward to improved safety for pedestrians as well as cyclists along Tamaki Drive and beyond."
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the Tāmaki Drive upgrade is another connection in the city’s growing cycling and walking network.
"We know that more people go by bike when paths for cycling are joined up and form a connected network. Waka Kotahi and AT are working hard on the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path which will connect with this path as well as train stations and schools to the East. It also connects with the city centre network and we are excited to see the progress on the Northern Pathway between Westhaven and Esmonde Road which will enable people on bikes to travel to and from the North Shore."