We are upgrading Franklin Road to improve the road quality and future-proof existing services.
Project status: Construction.
Using a ‘dig once’ approach, Auckland Transport (AT) is working with Watercare, Vector, Chorus, and Auckland Stormwater to coordinate upgrades to the road and infrastructure services on Franklin Road and some side streets.
Construction is being done in 2 stages to minimise the impacts on residents and traffic, fit within annual budgets, and allow the utility services work to be integrated as efficiently as possible:
- Stage 1 -
Undergroundservice works and street lighting.
- Stage 2 - AT's roading and footpath works and stormwater improvements.
Each of these stages are being carried out in sections to minimise impact on residents and road users.
Features and benefits
We aim to upgrade the road to best provide an urban streetscape that accommodates all road users while retaining natural heritage values, including:
- Providing improved pavement surface, footpaths and drainage.
- Providing for the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.
- Retaining as much street parking as possible.
- Protecting tree root zones from vehicles by redefining the berm area.
- Designing a low maintenance berm that keeps with the road's character while remaining attractive in summer (when the berm is shaded) and winter (when there’s no vegetation growth).
- Improving street lighting.
- Working with utility providers to minimise disruption and deliver an integrated programme of works.
- August 2016: Stage 1 works begin.
- August 2017: Stage 2 (AT) construction begins.
- October 2017: Stage 1 construction on Franklin Rd and Collingwood St complete.
- June 2019: Stage 2 AT works complete (expected).
Reasons for the upgrade
Franklin Road is an important connection between Ponsonby and the CBD. There are over 14,000 vehicle trips per day on the road, including buses and large, heavy vehicles.
The road is in poor condition, creating safety hazards for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Over time, tree roots have damaged footpaths, drainage infrastructure, and road pavement.
There is a high demand for parking on the street but a lack of well-defined parking spaces. This results in drivers parking too close to trees and driving over exposed roots. Some utility providers are also worried about infrastructure conditions in Franklin Road and are planning service renewals and upgrades.
Stage 1 works on Franklin Rd and Collingwood St were completed in October 2017.
Stage 2 construction began in August 2017. These works are being managed by Downer.
Footpaths on both sides of Franklin Road will be around 3.5m wide and made of exposed aggregate concrete with black oxide to give it a slightly darker appearance to ‘normal concrete’.
Image: Footpath and raised speed table in Union Street (what the Franklin Road footpaths are likely to look like).
Recessed parking will also be concrete with a black oxide tint to give it a contrast appearance to the cycle lanes and traffic lanes. Timber wheel stops will allow water to run off across the parking bays.
The cycle path on both sides of the road will be 1.5m wide and will be raised above the road by between 50mm to 70mm. The rounded kerb profile will make it easier for people on bikes and vehicles to negotiate.
There will be 600mm buffer areas both sides to provide separation between parked cars and the traffic lanes.
The paths will be constructed in black concrete (a similar colour to the road surface) with broom finish. Cycle symbols will be painted in the cycle lanes at 60m intervals (in accordance with required standards). There will also be a painted green line on the edge of the cycle lane nearest the traffic lanes.
Images: Artist's impressions of the new cycle paths on Franklin Road.
Traffic lanes and painted flush median
Traffic lanes will be 3m wide in each direction separated by a 2.1m-wide painted flush median. This median will extend the full length of the road as it currently does now, interrupted only by pedestrian refuges.
Wellington Street roundabout
We will build a new roundabout at the intersection of Franklin Road, Wellington Street, and England Street.
This will be significantly be better at managing queuing during peak times, be safer for pedestrians, and allow all movements from England Street (currently restricted).
Roundabouts are not as easy for people on bikes to negotiate. To address this, we have developed 2 ways in which people on bikes can use the roundabout. The raised cycle path will stop just before the roundabout and connect to the footpath, it will re-join the road after the roundabout. People on bikes can choose to either join the traffic flow, staying on the road to get through the roundabout, or move up onto the footpath, cross the side road using the pedestrian crossing then re-join the cycle path once through the roundabout.
Pedestrian crossings on all legs of the intersection will provide safe crossing points for pedestrians.
Speed tables fringing the roundabout will ensure traffic slows down prior to entering the intersection, increasing safety for pedestrians and motorists.
Side street treatments
All side streets will have raised speed tables at the same level as the footpaths. This increases safety for pedestrians and slows traffic entering and exiting side streets. These will look similar to the raised table between Victoria Street and Union Street.
Catenary lighting will be used to light the road, and lights from poles will be used to light the footpath. The light poles will be dark grey to match the muted colour scheme for the street.
Catenary lighting has wires across the road supported on poles either side of the road. The light luminaire is then hung off the wires over the centre of the carriageway. There are examples of catenary footpath lighting in the Viaduct Quarter. This will mean a consistent light for the road all the way down the street.
All lights will be LED lights meaning there will be less light spill into residents properties.
New World supermarket entrance
The safety and operation of the entry and exit for the New World supermarket has been redesigned to reduce their exit from the underground carpark to one lane. At present when you exit, you are able to sit in either a left-turn or right-turn lane.
New bus stop
AT is developing a new public transport network for the central Auckland suburbs that includes a new bus route on Franklin Road. The new route sees the northern (lower) portion of Franklin Rd served by a new bus service where none currently exists.
This means the existing bus stop at the top of Franklin Rd will be removed and a new bus stop and shelter will be located at the bottom of Franklin Rd near the Birdcage, outside No. 127.
Work by Auckland Council Stormwater to separate stormwater and wastewater pipelines is included in Stage 2. The design of this work was complex so was unable to be completed as part of Stage 1 works as previously planned.
In old parts of Auckland, like Franklin Road, household wastewater and stormwater flow in the same pipes. When the system is overwhelmed by rainfall, it overflows into the Waitematā Harbour.
Building a new stormwater pipeline and separating the wastewater will help reduce wet weather wastewater overflows to the harbour, improving the quality of our environment.
Image: the difference between a combined sewer and a separated system.
Consultation and feedback
Community Liason Group
The Community Liason Group (CLG) includes representatives from Franklin Road residents, Freemans Bay Residents Association, Cycle Action Auckland, the Waitematā Local Board, stage 1 construction contractor, Watercare, Vector and AT. The CLG meets around every 6 weeks.