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15th Avenue corridor improvements

We want to make 15th Avenue safer and easier for people who live, work and go to school in the Avenues and for people who commute along 15th Avenue each day.

The challenge of 15th Avenue

  • 15th Avenue is a key transport corridor between the city centre and Welcome Bay, Maungatapu, Hairini and Ohauiti
  • Approximately 26,000 vehicles use it every day
  • Peak time congestion on this route is affecting journey time reliability and safety of vehicle drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users
  • Traffic entering from side roads creates delays for people moving along 15th Avenue
  • The current merge from two lanes to one after the Fraser Street intersection creates queues. This prevents vehicles from proceeding though the intersection on a green light, which in turn affects the overall efficiency of this intersection
  • Most vehicles on this route are single-occupancy
  • Public transport efficiency is impacted by peak time congestion

Short-term plans: Stage 1

Aim

We want to free up capacity at the Fraser Street/15th Avenue intersection so that it operates safely and efficiently particularly during the afternoon peak travel time. This – along with restricting traffic from side roads – will see some benefit to journey time reliability along 15th Avenue towards the Hairini causeway. Morning peak performance, which is affected by the Hairini Causeway and the Hairini Bridge, is estimated to be similar to the current network performance after the completion of Stage 1 works.

Additionally, Stage 1 works will contribute to improving connections for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

This project will fit in with future plans for the wider network, involving plans for Turret Road, Devonport Road and Cameron Road.

Key elements of Stage 1

What are we doing? We are: Why are we doing it?
Widening the road with two continuous southbound lanes from Fraser Street, merging to one lane after Burrows Street. To give the 15th Avenue/Fraser Street intersection a better chance to clear in the afternoons.
Installing traffic lights at the Burrows Street intersection. To manage the traffic entering 15th Avenue and maintain a safe crossing point for people on foot and on bikes.
Closing the exit from Grace Road onto 15th Avenue and closing the Turret Road slip lane. To control traffic from these side streets.
Installing a new shared path from Alexander Street to Mayfair Street via the new signalised crossing at Burrows Street. To improve connections for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
Developing a new northwest-bound bus lane between Mayfair Street and Scantlebury Street
Note: While this lane is relatively short, it is part of possible future plans to improve the wider bus network.
To improve bus service reliability.

Timing

15th avenue improvements map

  • Phase A (Fraser Street to Grace Road): September – November 2019
  • Phase B (Grace Road to Burrows Street): November 2019 – Early 2020
  • Phase C (Burrows Street to Turret Road): Early – Mid 2020

The high-level construction staging will be as follows: establishment onsite, traffic management set up, locate underground services, removal of existing surfaces, underground works, new pavement construction and concrete works. We will do a safety and traffic audit post construction.

15th Avenue will stay open during the works, but delays will occur. Together with our contractor, we will be working to minimise any issues – i.e. by completing as much work during the day as possible – and to keep the impacted community members informed during the works.

Additionally, there will be times when the contractor is working on a combination of phases to try to speed up construction and bring forward the completion date. This will be communicated to affected parties throughout construction.

Funding

Local road construction is generally funded 50-50 by council and Government (via NZTA). Currently NZTA has not provided funding for construction of the Stage 1 works for 15th Avenue. To bridge the gap in the meantime, we have agreed to finance this project through a rates-funded loan so that we can go ahead with it.

Alternative routes during works

Supporting safer walking and cycling:

To reduce the number of people going through the work area, we are encouraging people on foot and on bikes to use alternative routes along 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th Avenue. Additional signs on Fraser Street will help people find their way.

We advise the following routes for people on bikes and on foot:

15th Avenue biking and walking routes

Frequently asked questions flyer (540kb pdf) Proposed plan - stage 1 (1mb pdf)

Longer term plans – Stage 2

The proposal

  • Traffic lights at the 13th Avenue/Fraser Street and 17th Avenue/Fraser Street intersections. The improvements to these intersections will occur as a first step of Stage 2. Traffic modelling work is currently being undertaken to determine how the traffic lights will operate and their impact on the wider road network in this area
  • Bus lanes – to help make bus trips more reliable between the city and Welcome Bay, Maungatapu, Hairini and Ohauiti
  • Separated shared pathways – to offer a safe journey into the city for people on foot and on bikes

Timing

This will be a lengthy and disruptive piece of work. When we widen the road we’ll also need to shift a lot of underground services. We need to time this work carefully so that it doesn’t clash with the Baylink project. Having two major construction projects underway at the same time along two major transport routes will create a lot of disruption.

Community feedback

We asked people for their thoughts about our proposals for 15th Avenue and have since been reviewing the project in light of everyone’s feedback. The feedback we received included:

  • General support for closing down the Turret Road access onto 15th Avenue and making Burrows Street a signalised intersection
  • Concerns about safety for people using the 13th Avenue/Fraser Street intersection and the need for this to be signalised to improve access for residents
  • General support for physical separation of people from other traffic
  • Many comments about the Hairini Bridge and Turret Road in regards to potential for 3-lanes or 4-lanes
  • A balance of opinion about whether work on Stage 2 should be carried out immediately or whether Council should wait until the Bayfair/Baypark works are completed

Next steps

  • Construction of Stage 1 is expected to be completed mid-2020, weather permitting. We will continue to work with affected parties throughout the construction of Stage 1
  • Design for Stage 2 begins in 2019
  • We will continue to engage with affected parties, as Stage 2 concepts are refined
  • In 2020, we will speak with Scantlebury Street residents about options for alternative access in the plans for Stage 2

Last Reviewed: 18/10/2019
 

 
 

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