Work is under way on the $330,000 project that includes a roundabout at the intersection of Houghton Bay Road and The Esplanade, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, a new car park, and pedestrian crossing points.
The improvements come after a period of extensive consultation with local residents.
The Council's Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says a new footpath and pedestrian crossing point will also be installed on Houghton Bay Road with a new 'off-street' car park on the beach side of The Esplanade. A new crossing point on The Esplanade, from a new footpath, will also give Houghton Bay residents easier and safer access to the beach area and the shared path.
The new car park removes the danger created by manoeuvring traffic at the intersection - especially when it becomes busy when the surf is up in Houghton Bay.
Cr Foster says The Esplanade is a busy arterial route carrying a lot of heavy traffic to and from the Southern Landfill as well as sightseers, cyclists and pedestrians - so it is timely to 'sort out' the intersection.
"The new shared path, which will form part of the Great Harbour Way, will also be constructed between the beach and the car park, so the project will make the areas safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists," says Cr Foster.
A 2.5 metre propeller from the HMNZS Wellington, that was decommissioned and scuttled off Houghton Bay in 2005, will be given a new home as part of a new memorial for the former frigate on the planted buffer strip between the car park and the road.
Community Engagement Portfolio Leader, Councillor Paul Eagle, who has worked with residents who live next to the intersection to try and address their safety concerns, especially speeding cars and cycle and pedestrian safety, says the Council wanted them to have a stake in the changes and the result reflects their input.
"This has been a real partnership between the community and the Council," says Cr Eagle.
"It is something the residents of Houghton Bay have wanted for some time so it's an excellent outcome for them and all road users."
The Council's Walking, Cycling, Motorcycling and Safety Portfolio Leader, Cr Bryan Pepperell, says the new roundabout is a sensible upgrade for the busy intersection. "It will help to slow traffic speeds through the area," he says.