Work starts on Hutt Road next week to widen and upgrade the bridge over the Kaiwharawhara Stream – which will mean some traffic changes at off-peak times.
The narrow shared path over the bridge is the last remaining pinch point on the recently upgraded Hutt Road section of this busy walking and biking route from the north.
Wellington City Council’s Network Improvements Manager Paul Barker says widening the bridge will further improve the popular route and make it safer and easier for everyone.
“Improvements like this are all part of giving people more choice in how they get around, working to reduce emissions that cause climate change, and our aim to move more people with fewer cars as the city’s population grows.
“Mobil has recently moved major fuel pipes that were attached to the bridge, which means we can now get on with upgrading it,” he says. “Weather permitting, we expect the work to take about two months.”
Work will involve building new foundation walls on the seaward side, and temporarily moving telecommunications and other services.
The part of the existing deck, which people walk and ride on now, will be lifted out by crane. New steel beams will be lowered into place, and the wider new pre-cast concrete deck craned into position on top.
To do the work safely, traffic changes will be in place in and around the intersection of Hutt Road and Kaiwharawhara Road at times during off-peak hours from Monday 26 August.
At peak times, there will be two lanes in each direction for traffic – just as there is now.
But Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, as required, a 30km/h speed limit will be in place in both directions from Westminster Street to just past the bridge – and also at the bottom of Kaiwharawhara Road below Pickering Street.
Citybound traffic travelling along Hutt Road will be down to one lane around the work site from Westminster Street. Traffic coming down Ngaio Gorge will also be required to merge into one lane just before the intersection with Hutt Road.
Additional traffic restrictions may be required for short periods on occasions to enable lifting or other special operations to happen.
A detour around the work site will be provided for pedestrians and cyclists. Like the existing narrow bridge, it will be a shared space, so people on bikes will need to keep speeds down and take extra care.
Routine resealing work is also planned on part of Hutt Road over summer.