A new signalised pedestrian crossing on Newmarket’s busy thoroughfare was switched on today, as part of the NZ Transport Agency’s Newmarket Connection Project.
The crossing has been installed outside the Newmarket Post Office to provide a much-needed safe crossing point between the Great South Road intersection and Westfield’s 277 shopping mall. Incorporating a signalised crossing for Clovernook Road (the access road to the Farmers car park), the new facility will also mitigate the numerous distractions and changeable traffic patterns associated with the Newmarket Viaduct replacement project.
“Our aim with the Newmarket Connection project is to safely deliver a world class infrastructure upgrade that provides tangible benefits for both motorists and the surrounding community,” says Tommy Parker, NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland & Northland.
With Newmarket the national headquarters for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, and the post office a popular stop off for local elderly residents, all four access points feature tactile pavers and an audio tactile callbox to enhance safety. Local school children are also being encouraged to use the new crossing.
"This pedestrian crossing is a great safety improvement for Broadway, bringing to an end years of concern,” says Cameron Brewer, Chief Executive of the Newmarket Business Association. “Previously people have had to run the gauntlet to access our only Post Office, which was a real worry given it's such a wide and busy arterial road.”
The crossing is the first of a suite of pedestrian improvements incorporated within the Newmarket Connection project. Future plans include a volcanic walkway connecting Gillies Ave with Broadway, and a replacement footbridge over the motorway at Mt Hobson Road.
"The new pedestrian crossing will be just one of many legacies of the viaduct project, which along with the new $215m structure, will help spur on economic development down that end of Broadway,” says Brewer.
The NZTA asks all motorists to be mindful of the new crossing, and for pedestrians to take care as drivers become accustomed to it being operational. Members of the NZTA’s project delivery team, NGA Newmarket, have been on hand all day to manage the transition.
For more information about the Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project, freephone 0508 CONNECT (266 6328) or visit www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection(external link)