Underpass in design

Design work is underway for an underpass of Airport Rd/SH21 as part of the Te Awa biking-walking path through Tamahere.

The NZ Transport Agency is funding the underpass (pictured), proposed for near Wiremu Tamihana Drive, as part of its section of the Te Awa Cambridge to Hamilton shared path.

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Underpass set for Airport Rd

The NZ Transport Agency is to fund a pedestrian and cycle underpass of Airport Rd/SH21 – one of several safety black spots in Tamahere.

The action comes after unprecedented protests in Tamahere, including a packed public meeting, and a call to the agency by Associate Transport Minister for safer connectivity for the area.

Tamahere Community Committee chair Sue Robertson welcomed confirmation of the funding for the underpass but said it was just a start.

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Locals angry at losing to cars

The high toll the Waikato Expressway is taking on the Tamahere community was made crystal clear at a public meeting last night.

More than a hundred people turned out for the biggest public meeting in living memory to express their disgust and frustration at the sacrifice expected of the community for the sake of the big State Highway 1 roading project.

Speaker after speaker identified the dangers to locals – children and adults – of simply trying to get around their own patch by foot or cycle in an area where speeding cars were the priority.

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Airport Rd roundabout ahead

The NZ Transport Agency plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 3 (Ohaupo Road) and State Highway 21 (Airport Road) this summer.

The $4.5 million project, jointly funded by NZTA and the Titanium Park Joint Venture, which is developing the airport business zone, is designed to improve safety and access to current and future industrial development in the airport area, as well as the Mystery Creek Events Centre.

Information about the roundabout project will be available at an open day on Tuesday, July 14, from 3pm-7pm, at the Hamilton Airport Motel and Conference Centre.

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Narrows river crossing re-opened

Traffic is again crossing the Waikato River at The Narrows after a temporary one-lane Bailey bridge was opened tonight (Wednesday) on Airport Rd.

The Airport Rd or SH21 crossing is open to vehicles only, with no access for cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic lights on either side of the single-lane bridge control the one-way traffic.

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager Kaye Clark said the timing phases of the traffic lights didn’t allow for the longer time needed by cyclists to cross the bridge so it wasn’t safe for them to use it.

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Bridging The Narrows closer

A giant step towards reopening the Waikato River crossing at The Narrows was taken yesterday with a 52-metre-long Bailey bridge lifted into position on State Highway 21 or Airport Rd, Tamahere.

The Bailey bridge, immediately downstream of the existing bridge, is supported by four 12m concrete piles and a concrete beam on top.

A timber deck has been installed, with a coating of seal now being placed on top. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) hopes to have the road open to traffic by Labour Weekend.

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Bridge may open Labour Weekend

The temporary bridge across the Waikato River at The Narrows may be open by Labour Weekend.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had estimated it would be the end of October before Airport Road or State Highway 21 would be open but today said it was on track to reopen the river crossing a week earlier.

“Excellent progress is being made to install a temporary, single-lane bailey bridge immediately downstream of the existing bridge,” said NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark in a statement. “The foundations have been completed and the bridge is now fully assembled and ready to be transported to the site, where it will be lifted into place next week.”

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Bridge down, businesses out

After more than two weeks Tamahere’s Narrows Bridge is still closed and continuing to disrupt local businesses.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) closed the bridge on State Highway 21 on September 16 after erosion and scouring were found to be threatening the bridge’s foundations.

Until a long term solution was found a one-lane Bailey bridge was expected to be erected. It has yet to be built which has frustrated nearby business owners.

Owner of The Woodbox restaurant Matt Cooper said the closure had affected him hugely.

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