Tagata Pasifika

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Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Cheaper raised pedestrian crossings for Auckland

A new pre-cast table on a raised pedestrian crossing in Kumeū was installed in one night. Photo: Auckland Transport
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

Auckland Transport is rolling out a new, cheaper approach to raised pedestrian crossings after facing heavy criticism over costly installations.

The AT board, at it’s first meeting last month, heard that a recent review of pedestrian safety found that a previous one-sized-fits all approach had dominated, and was costing ratepayers too much.

This was despite having a range of other affordable solutions available.

AT had come under fire for spending too much on raised pedestrian crossing, including from Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

AT infrastructure and place director Murray Burt said they were now looking at more affordable measures.

“This year we started investigating a new approach [at the end of January] and undertook a review into raised crossings,” Burt said.

AT was now adopting new practises to deliver raised crossings at a lower cost, he said.

A recent project at Kumeū, where pre-cast units were used, cost ratepayers $35,000 – approximately 10% cheaper than the old way.

The crossing was part of the State Highway 16 access road upgrade project, at the car park of the Main Rd shops.

The pre-cast unit was installed in one night, rather than over several days.

“We saved money due to the speed at which it was installed. The installation was just one night, versus the usual raised crossing which would take a week or two to install.”

Burt said the pre-casts were laid out from 9pm, and work was completed by 5am. It opened to traffic that morning.

“AT is now investigating opportunities to roll out this approach more broadly wherever possible.”

He said 22 other crossings have been identified as suitable for the same approach.

Fulton Hogan’s national innovation lead Beaudene Pumipi, in a social media post about the Kumeū project, said pre-casting had health and safety benefits in construction.

It had lower carbon emissions and largely negated the vagaries of the weather, being manufactured in a controlled environment, he said.

“There’s growing interest in how New Zealand can produce speed tables and other concrete road structures more efficiently and effectively.”

Burt said their review of raised crossings estimated a reduction of around 30% these were required, compared to the current pipeline of projects.

“In all cases alternative safety measures will be considered to achieve the same outcomes and be monitored closely.

“Examples of this may include signalised crossings and other speed calming measures.”

AT’s priority was to keep people safe as they move across Auckland, balanced against the cost of work to do so, he said.

“Over the past five years, 2035 pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured trying to cross the road or walking on footpaths.

“We know that raised crossing facilities reduce the likelihood of a death or serious injury.”

Local democracy reporting

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