The existing old poles need to come out so the new pathways can be developed, but first, the new lights need to be installed and operational. These will be going in along the grass median strip in the centre of the road.
The work involves drilling and installing new ducting for the lighting cables, excavating and pouring the concrete foundations for the poles, and then installing the new poles and lights. The poles will have fittings for street banners, and outreach arms on both sides to light the whole road and the pathways either side.
The road will be reduced to one lane on the seaward side where the work is happening, so to minimise disruption, work will be carried out at nights, Sunday to Thursday, 7pm–5.30am. The work on the median will be done in sections over the next four months, starting from the Evans Bay Parade end.
Downers completed wider new walking and biking paths at the eastern end of Cobham Drive between the Calabar Road roundabout and Shelly Bay Road late last year. Work on the harbour side to develop the paths and transform the next section between Evans Parade and Calabar Road will start in about a month’s time.
As well as the new asphalt bike path and exposed aggregate footpath, about six landscaped areas with seating will be developed along the way.
The $6m project, part of the Council’s plan to develop a citywide connected cycle network, is being developed in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency and Government, which are funding about two-thirds of the cost.
Cr Sarah Free, Wellington City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport, says she is looking forward to seeing the project take shape over coming months.
“A lot has been going on behind the scenes this year to refine construction drawings, and source poles and materials, but it is great to see the rest of the construction under way.”
She says the Cobham Drive facilities will connect with the existing shared pathway, and planned new two-way bike path which has been approved for Evans Bay.
“Together they will make riding this scenic route between the eastern suburbs and the city safer and easier, and an option for more people of all ages and abilities.”
Work in the area is expected to take about a year. Access for all road users, including pedestrians and people on bikes, will be maintained during construction.