Many people in Christchurch will be aware that Waka Kotahi (NZTA) have been slowly working on some plans to upgrade aspects of the Brougham St (SH76) corridor. In theory that might mean an improvement to the (fairly crappy excuse for a) shared path along some parts of the route. But in the short term, they are focusing on a more pressing issue about getting across the state highway…
Regular users of the Little River Link Major Cycleway will be familiar with the two-stage dog-leg signalised crossing of Brougham St. Fun fact: the original design proposed a single-stage cycle crossing over the whole highway. Even when that was rejected (for “efficiency” reasons), the revised dog-leg was meant to be much shorter than it currently is…
The current crossing is still somewhat risky for many users; only three years ago someone cycling here was killed. So, with that in mind, Waka Kotahi have proposed an overbridge treatment here to remove the risk. Personally, I would have preferred the idea of a slightly lowered pathway below a slightly raised roadway, but maybe there were some underground services that may have made that difficult.
The original public consultation back in early 2022 didn’t really provide any specifics about the overbridge design; just an indicative bridge slab across the highway. To ensure that a good solution was reached, Waka Kotahi set up a group of community representatives to help work on their designs. The group included mana whenua and people from organisations who represent older community members, cyclists, schools, those who are differently abled, and heritage and community groups. Over several months, the group met to discuss and test various concepts, with a focus on safety, lighting and accessibility, landscaping, storytelling, and design.
We now have a proposed final overbridge design that incorporates spiral ramps on both sides to get users up to the bridge crossing. There are also more direct stair options on each side for some people walking. Waka Kotahi have even produced a very snazzy Youtube video taking you through the whole crossing route (note that it is simply indicative of the layout; the actual materials/colours/fittings/etc will come next):
So what’s next? Well, the project team will move on with detailed design for the overbridge now. And then actual bridge construction is planned to start from Sep 2024 (other parts of the overall Brougham corridor works will take a bit longer to finalise).
What do you think of the Brougham St overbridge design?