Western Corridor Project
We have recently undertaken a study to help us decide whether Waipā District Council will keep the existing Western Arterial designation (DN154) for a future transport corridor in Te Awamutu.
We have set aside land on the western side of Te Awamutu for a new road corridor. The designation was put in place in 2006 for a new road. Over time we have bought properties and there’s more yet to be purchased as necessary.
The existing Te Awamutu Western Arterial designation is set to expire after February 2032. When we originally identified and designated the area, the western arterial presented a strong solution to the identified heavy vehicle through traffic problems in Te Awamutu at the time. Over the past 15 years, we have identified current costs accruing for maintenance of the designation and, in light of changing travel through the town, insufficient justification for a high-cost future western arterial road.
We also recognised the need for an urgent decision in 2021 on whether to keep the designation and an updated plan for the designation and land held within the Waipā District Council. WSP was then engaged by us to develop a business case and to look at the corridor and investigate whether the corridor is necessary to keep protecting it for a new road in the future.
Council engaged engineering consultancy firm WSP to undertake the study.
Our vision is to create a vibrant, liveable town centre, and a safe, sustainable transport network that works for Te Awamutu and Kihikihi now, and in the future.
Reasons for the study:
Specifically, the study considers whether the Western Arterial Road will be required in the future or whether some other investment might provide a better outcome for future transport needs.
The business case has two main objectives:
Primary objective: On completion of this project we will have sufficient information to make a well-reasoned decision for uplift (removal), retention or alteration to the existing designation DN154 for the Te Awamutu Western Arterial Road.
Secondary objective: To recommend long term affordable improvements to the strategic transport network that improves the accessibility, liveability and economic wellbeing of Te Awamutu and Kihikihi.
On this basis, our business case covers:
- A determination as to whether the Te Awamutu Western Arterial designation can contribute to achievable and useful transportation improvements for Te Awamutu, including feasible sub-options, staging and likely funding scenarios that could be implemented over time that support the investment objectives.
- The likely cost estimate of Western Arterial as designated, including any additional land requirements for the route, and
- Cost estimates and cashflows of additional programme options.
The case for change:
- The Western Arterial designation has become unclear in how we can use it but is accumulating costs.
- We still have transport issues on the network, but these are no longer constrained to heavy vehicle impacts.
- Our residents still find the main roads in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi to be a barrier to non-car use.
- Te Awamutu and Kihikihi are actively growing, with new emphasis on local active mode solutions and travel behaviour change.
The study also found that there are opportunities to make a difference to the transport network now to improve our community’s experience.
- In the short-term, we’ll be making safety improvements and roading upgrades to make the roads work better for all modes of transport throughout Te Awamutu and Kihikihi.
- There are transport issues on the network, but these are no longer constrained to heavy vehicle impacts.
- People who use streets for cycling, wheeling and walking would be made to feel safer if the streets were more user-friendly in the long term.
For more information about this project visit waipadc.govt.nz/major-projects.
Mutu Street has been identified as the best option because it can cater for all modes of transport and keep an efficient transport route without requiring significant investment. Other alternatives would require significant investment to meet the safety and capacity requirements to cater for through traffic and used a less direct route, affecting more residents.
Mutu Street is a key pedestrian route for Te Awamutu College, what improvements will Council be making to help keep our kids safe when traffic increases along Mutu Street?
We're proposing to improve the intersections at either end of Mutu Street between Alexandra Street and Ohaupo Road to create safe pathways for pedestrians, mobility scooter users, cyclists and all other modes of transport. We're also proposing traffic calming measures and raised platform crossings to help reduce traffic speeds, as well as reviewing movements along the road to place crossing at the most appropriate location. In order to do this right, we'll be coming back to the community to find out more about your desired needs so we can align our plans to fit that in the best way.
The proposal includes roading improvements to the Kihikihi main street (State Highway 3) such as traffic calming measures to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety. This will also help to reduce noise impacts and create a more vibrant village centre.
The Golf Road/St Leger Road roundabout project is included in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan for delivery.
Why are you recommending a change to the designation which will result in a new intersection on Alexandra Street, right next to the railway crossing?
The proposed new location for the
Western Corridor provides a better overall outcome to meet future road asset
and investment objectives. Utilising the existing Station Road gives us the
opportunity to improve this section of road, replace the aging
Rewi Street rail overbridge, realign the intersection of Rewi Street and
Station Road to provide a safer intersection, and open up opportunities for
future use of the railway station and surrounding land.
This location also provides the right connection for two future growth areas, earmarked for development post-2035. We still need to do work in this area to put together a final proposal and will come back to the community to consult on what that may look like at the right time.
This business case provides a great solution for Te Awamutu and Kihikihi strategic road networks, why does it not cover Cambridge?
The scope of this review is the retention of the existing Western Arterial Designation, which is located in Te Awamutu, which is why Cambridge has not been included.
Any results that are suitable for other strategic transport corridors across the district will be considered as part of those pieces of work.