With the project on Cobham Drive now complete, the same Downer crew will make a start on construction through the Miramar cutting.
The new paths will make it safer and easier to walk and cycle in this busy area and provide a connection from the Cobham Drive end of Miramar Avenue.
From Shelly Bay Road there will be a separate 2m-wide footpath and 3m-wide two-way bike path through the Miramar cutting. The two paths will merge into a 5m-wide shared path near Maupuia Road that continues to Z Energy, to create a slow zone towards the shopping area.
Deputy Mayor and Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling Sarah Free says the project is an important part of Wellington City Council’s network delivered as part of the Urban Cycleways Programme, and will provide another key connection in the bike route around the harbour from the east.
“It’s taken longer than expected to get to this point, but it will be great to see a high-quality bike path extended from Miramar wharf to the start of the shopping area. The improvements here will help to encourage less confident riders in the Miramar area to make some trips by bike and contribute to reducing the city’s transport emissions.”
The roundabout at the Tauhinu Road/Portsmouth Road intersection will be improved with new traffic islands and kerbs to provide safe places for people to cross the road and reduce vehicle speeds. The Council has worked closely with Z Energy to make their driveway on Miramar Avenue safer and will trial a closure of the right-turn lane into the service station.
People biking will be able to bypass the roundabout by using a combination of the shared path, new crossing point between the Z Energy and Portsmouth Road corners and new ramps to get on and off the road.
To make space for the new paths and retain the central median, the traffic lane on the Maupuia side will be narrowed, and the left-turn slip lane into Maupuia Road removed. These changes will also help to reduce vehicle speeds.
At the intersections of Shelly Bay Road, Maupuia Road and Tauhinu Road there will be new traffic islands and raised dual crossings where drivers will be legally required to give way to pedestrians and people on bikes. Dual crossings are used in other New Zealand cities, but these will be the first in Wellington.
The bus stop on Maupuia Road will be moved slightly further back along the road to make space for the dual crossing. On Miramar Avenue the bus shelter near the corner of Tauhinu Road will be removed to make space for the new paths (the bus stop will remain).
One small pohutukawa tree near the Tauhinu Road roundabout will be removed and other vegetation will be cut back where needed.
Apart from minor improvements, the corner area between the Cobham Drive paths and Shelly Bay Road will remain as is for now because this land is privately owned.
Contractors will set up in the area by Miramar wharf and start at the Shelly Bay Road end to install the first of the raised dual crossings. The trial closure of the right-turn lane into the Z station near the Tauhinu Road roundabout will also happen at this point.
The work will then move progressively east towards the shopping area.
Work hours will generally be 9am to 4pm on weekdays, however night-time closures of the intersections on the side roads will be required to install the raised crossings (detours will be in place). Some bus stops will need to be temporarily relocated while work happens.
There will be detours for people on foot and on bikes around work areas, and on Miramar Avenue two-way traffic and a 50km/h speed limit will remain in place although this could change at times.
The project was planned and consulted on as part of public engagement in 2017 for walking and biking routes in the eastern suburbs, including through the shopping area on Miramar Avenue from Shelly Bay Road to Park Road.
Councillors approved the first part through the cutting in November 2017 and agreed that phase two, from Tauhinu Road to Park Road, would require more discussion with the local community before any decisions are made.
The Council’s Long-term Plan includes a proposal to allocate funding for that and other routes in Miramar in future years.
The work will start the week of Monday 3 May and is expected to take about five months.