The NZ Transport Agency and Wellington City Council have made changes to the road layout at the Hawkestone Street intersection, to remove the option for commuters who use the Hawkestone Street intersection as a detour to skip ahead of queues when travelling south on the State Highway 1 (SH1) motorway.
The Hawkestone Street intersection with State Highway 1 was regularly used by some morning commuters as a detour to skip ahead of queues when travelling south on State Highway 1. This caused delays when they attempted to merge back in with the flow of SH1 traffic and posed a safety risk to road users on Hawkestone Street including other commuters and pedestrians.
To manage this, we made improvements to the layout of the Hawkestone Street intersection. The changes have cut morning SH1 commute times from 1–2 minutes by preventing urban motorway commuters from using the intersection as a shortcut and improved the flow of traffic along Hawkestone Street.
The map shows the permanent layout changes to Hawkestone Street, planned for completion by October 2019.
Download larger map [PDF, 4.2 MB]
Road layout changes
- The shape of the traffic island on Hawkestone Street will be permanently altered so it extends around the entry to the southbound on-ramp. This will mean vehicles can only enter the on-ramp from Hawkestone Street and won’t be able to enter from the SH1 off-ramp anymore.
- The traffic island will provide a dedicated on-ramp and westbound/Tinakori Road lane for southbound traffic off Hawkestone Street.
- A new give way intersection on the on-ramp will make merging safer and more efficient.
- The central median area next to the on-ramp on Hawkestone Street will be raised to create a traffic island and pedestrian refuge.
- A new pedestrian path across Hawkestone Street so it’s safer and easier to cross.
- The coupon carparks near Hawkestone Street on-ramp will be removed to provide space for the left-turn slip lane to SH1.
- One new coupon carpark will be added opposite the bus stop.
- No stopping at all times parking restriction on Hawkestone Street.
New road layout monitoring results
The new road layout has been in place since 25 March 2019.
We carefully monitored pedestrian and road user behaviour for two months in response to the new layout. This helped us determine the success and identify any unforeseen issues before making the improvements permanent.
Since the new layout, travel times have been 1–2 mins faster in peak 8am week day flow from Murphy Street to The Terrace Tunnel/off-ramp.
This is because there are less vehicles re-entering SH1 from the Hawkestone Street southbound on-ramp.
Safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Hawkestone Street has also improved by reducing the amount of traffic using the morning detour.
Before the new layout, there were up to 89 vehicles using the short cut during the 7–9am peak.
In the last four weeks of monitoring, this dropped to an average of five.
Permanent construction and parking changes timeframes
Based on these positive results, we will soon be removing the flexible bollards and installing the permanent road layout using concrete. The parking changes will also be made during the permanent construction phase.
Permanent construction is planned to start mid-October and will take about four weeks, weather permitting. The permanent layout is estimated to be in place by November 2019.
During construction, crews will be on site from 7pm–5am.
Traffic lanes will be altered to allow space for the works, there will be some shoulder closures with pedestrian traffic management, and a 30km/h temporary speed limit will remain in place.