A plan to address earthquake damage and improve emergency evacuation times along the main route to and from New Brighton has been released.
Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on a significant new project, Gateway to New Brighton. The project focuses on Pages Road, east of Anzac Drive, and some surrounding streets and is estimated to cost $65-million.
The Council’s Head of Transport, Lynette Ellis, says Gateway to New Brighton involves major improvement to Pages Road, a new bridge, better traffic flow and improved safety for all users of Pages Road and surrounding streets.
“Most importantly, this project will deliver a quicker and safer exit route from the area in emergency evacuations,” Ms Ellis says. “Our traffic modelling shows that improvements along Pages Road and at some feeder roads could shave up to 40 minutes off the evacuation time.”
Under the plan, the new bridge will be slightly north of the existing bridge.
“We’ll realign Pages Road to the new bridge and install traffic lights to replace the roundabout. The lights will be slightly north of the current roundabout and the roundabout area will become a pocket park featuring the existing palm tree,” Ms Ellis says.
“Critically, moving the bridge location means people will be able to use the existing bridge while the new bridge is built.”
Ms Ellis says there’s a lot planned for the area in the next few years, and Gateway to New Brighton has taken all known plans into account.
Among these plans are new wetlands in red-zoned land along the west bank of the river, flood protection work, the City to Sea Pathway, and new housing developments.
“We can safely predict that this part of our city is going to be an increasingly popular place to visit, so we’ve made sure the road and the bridge will be resilient, not just to earthquakes, but to increased traffic.
“It needs to be a safe route for all modes of transport, whether that’s public transport, heavy vehicles, cars or people walking or cycling.”
With the City to Sea Pathway in mind, Pages Road and the bridge will feature a four-metre-wide path for cyclists and pedestrians.
“We’re really excited about this project, which the people of New Brighton have waited a long time for,” Ms Ellis says.