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Auckland Transport

Newmarket level crossing

Auckland Transport (AT) will close the railway level crossing connecting Sarawia Street and Laxon Terrace in Newmarket. A bridge will replace the crossing, linking Laxon Terrace with nearby Cowie Street.

Project status: Design
Project zone: Central

Project overview

The removal of the existing level crossing connecting Sarawia Street and Laxon Terrace is required to:

  • Improve safety at the busiest train crossing in the country.
  • Allow greater frequency of services.
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness of rail operations.
  • Create a quieter local environment by removing the need for crossing bells.


$6.2m (estimated).


2012 - Public consultation began.
2013 - Analysis of crossing options and selection of preferred option (Cowie Street bridge).
2014 - Feedback from residents and key stakeholders incorporated into bridge design.
2015 - Concept design of preferred option complete. Notice of Requirement and resource consent applications lodged with Auckland Council (October). Public notification of consents (November).
2016 - Formal consent decision (June). If consent approved, consultation on detailed design.

Project details

The Newmarket level crossing is located 2 minutes northeast of Newmarket centre, where Sarawia Street meets Laxon Terrace.

In 2013, AT undertook analysis and made a decision on how Laxon Terrace will be accessed once the level crossing on Sarawia Street (known as Newmarket level crossing) is closed.

A road-over-rail bridge linking Cowie Street with Laxon Terrace was chosen as a solution. The Cowie Street bridge option was chosen due to it:

  • Providing the safest access for all road users, compared to other options.
  • Accommodating all modes of transport, including pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Providing opportunities for improved connectivity to Newmarket Park and a planned cycling and walking route linking Parnell and Newmarket via the old Parnell rail tunnel.
  • Having the least disruption due to the main work site being located on railway land, away from the majority of residential properties.

Once the bridge is built and the level crossing is closed, Sarawia Street will become a no-exit street.

The bridge design chosen by AT draws on feedback provided by the local community in late 2014.

Features of Cowie Street bridge

  • Two-lane road access into and out of Laxon Terrace.
  • Narrow road width and chicanes support a low-speed environment.
  • Raingarden and vegetated swale provide an environmentally-friendly treatment for stormwater run-off from bridge (see the concept drawing showing raingardens).
  • Pedestrian and cycle access to Newmarket Park is maintained.
  • Minimised impact on Newmarket Park.

Next steps

  • Formal approval of the resource consent application was received from independent planning commissioners on 17 June 2016. AT has 30 working days to review and formally accept the recommendation.
  • Further input will be sought from local community and key stakeholders (Local Board, iwi) to help develop the design for construction.

Public engagement

AT began engagement with residents and community groups in November 2012, holding a public forum at the Parnell Community Centre in December 2012 and encouraging public feedback via a survey on what would replace the crossing.

Following a decision in November 2014 by the Auckland Transport Board to proceed with a bridge linking Cowie Street and Laxon Terrace, local residents were surveyed on 3 bridge options to help determine which design AT would progress. The final bridge design was presented to the public at a community meeting on 29 April 2015.

View the Community Liaison Group April meeting presentation (PDF 2.87MB).

The Notice of Requirement (NoR) and associated resource consent applications for the Cowie Street bridge were lodged with Auckland Council in October 2015. Submissions in support or opposition closed on 18 November 2015 and submitters were invited to have their say at a hearing held in front of independent commissioners.

Background information

Original options considered

Cowie Street bridge

This option involves construction of a two lane road bridge from Cowie Street to Laxon Terrace. It is the most expensive option under consideration.

Concept features of Cowie Street bridge

  • Two-lane road access into and out-of Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane
  • Pedestrian and cycle access to Newmarket Park is maintained
  • Some land acquisition will be required
  • Cowie Street will experience a minor rise in traffic volume

Cowie Street Bridge image

Furneaux Way

This option is to create a new low-speed, low volume, access way through Furneaux Way.

It is also a less expensive and simpler engineering option.

Concept features of Furneaux Way option

  • Clear sightlines to be created and maintained and approach visibility a safety priority.
  • Landscaping and paving to be kept in local residential character, and of domestic scale.
  • Will also provide traffic calming, be safely lit and enhance local visual amenity.
  • A traffic safety report on the Furneaux Way option (PDF 1.48MB) was carried out.
  • All options allow sufficient width for emergency and large vehicles e.g.rubbish trucks.
  • Current pedestrian movements through to Furneaux Way are maintained.
  • Furneaux Way and James Cook Crescent will experience a minor rise in traffic volume (refer to Traffic Effects for more information).
  • AT would assume responsibility for maintaining Furneaux Way as a public road.

Furneaux Way through road images

Newmarket Park

The option proposes deconstruction of a two-lane road and footpath through Newmarket Park connecting Laxon Terrace to Ayr Street. This is a less expensive option than the Cowie Street bridge, but is technically challenging due to ground instability issues.

Concept features of Newmarket Park option

  • Two-lane road access into and out-of Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane.
  • Acquisition of Newmarketed Park land from Auckland Council will be required.
  • Ayr Street will experience a minor rise in traffic volume (refer to Traffic Effects for more information)
  • Will include traffic calming
  • Will result in loss of amenity for Newmarket Park users.

Newmarket Park images

Other crossing removal options

Other options explored included:

Vehicle underpass

An underpass from Sarawia Street was considered previously but dismissed due to construction and cost challenges compared to a bridge.

Over rail bridges

Options for bridges from either Sarawia Street or Cowie Street were previously explored by KiwiRail in 2011, with the Sarawia Street bridge option dismissed due to gradient issues.

Newmarket Park roads

Options for a road through, and a road around the park have been explored by Auckland Transport. Both roads carry high construction risks due to ground stability and the option for a road skirting the edge of the park was not progressed further.

Reports and consultation documents

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport