Project summary

What we're doing

We’re making safety improvements to the Church Road and Te Rapa Road roundabout in the city’s north.

Works are planned to start in February 2023 and are expected to take 10 to 12 weeks to complete.

Most of the works that may impact traffic will take place under single lane closures. Some works will need to happen at night.


Why we're doing it

The Church Road and Te Rapa Road roundabout has been identified for improvement to make it safer for everyone who uses it.

This roundabout was initially selected by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency who, using historic crash data and other information, identified the intersections at this roundabout were substandard.

According to nationwide modelling undertaken by Waka Kotahi, the Church Road and Te Rapa Road roundabout was highlighted as a priority intersection needing work.

A total of 19 crashes were reported at the intersection between 2016 and 2020 – four of these crashes resulted in minor injuries. We don't want to wait until someone is killed or seriously hurt before we act. Instead, we want to create safer roads that minimise harm when people make mistakes while driving or using the intersection.

This project will

  • Make the intersection safer for all road users

  • Help to renew a core part of our city's roads

  • Improve visibility for roundabout users

Project features

  • Raised platforms

    We’re installing raised safety platforms across all lanes exiting and entering the roundabout to make it safer for all road users. Raised safety platforms slow traffic down and give people enough time to avoid a crash.
  • New cycle ramps and paths

    We're making the roundabout more accessible for people on bikes by installing new bike ramps and constructing a new pedestrian and bike path.
  • Vegetation

    Some vegetation will be removed to improve visibility for roundabout users.
  • Reducing speed

    The width of the roundabout’s lanes are too wide and allows vehicles to travel too fast through the intersection. We’re lowering the speed limit on the approach to the roundabout to 50km/h.

Frequently asked questions

Why is Council doing these works?

According to Waka Kotahi data, the Church Road and Te Rapa Road roundabout is among the worst 30% of similar intersections nationwide, based on traffic volumes and the number of injury crashes.

About 28,000 vehicles drive through this intersection daily. The number of people moving through the intersection is expected to increase as work progresses on residential developments north of Hamilton. To help keep everyone safe, we’re upgrading the intersection so everyone can use the roundabout safely.

Why raised safety platforms?

We have started using raised safety platforms at busy intersections and in areas where there is a lot of walking and biking activity, particularly near schools and key destinations. What the data tells us is a person hit by a car at 50km/h has an 80% chance of being killed. If that car is going 30km/h, their chance of death drops to 10%. Raised safety platforms help to slow traffic down.

Are you just installing speed bumps?

The purpose of the raised safety platforms is to encourage drivers to slow down when entering and existing the roundabout. Raised safety platforms reduce speeds to a level where crashes can be avoided, and crash speeds are survivable. This keeps everyone safe, including pedestrians and people on bikes. International research shows raised safety platforms reduce death and serious injuries by about 40%.

Why are the raised safety platforms being installed near the roundabout?

The raised safety platforms are being installed near the roundabout to reduce the speed of vehicles travelling through the intersection. The platforms also line up with the preferred walking and biking routes people take when using the surrounding shared path to navigate the roundabout.

How long will these works take to complete?

Works are expected to take 10 to 12 weeks to complete, depending on weather, and will take place during the day and at night. To minimise disruption, footpath works will be completed during the day and construction of the raised platforms will be done at night.

How is Council working to improve Hamilton's transport network?

This project is part of a wider programme to improve existing intersections and make them safer for all users. Council’s ambition is to have more people walking and biking by providing a safe transport network. Safety upgrades to the Church Road – Te Rapa Road roundabout include constructing a new shared path so people can safely walk and bike to nearby destinations.

How does this project support Council's Access Hamilton strategy?

Access Hamilton aims to move people safely around the city. We also want more people to be able to travel on foot, by bike or use micro-mobility devices such as scooters. Planned improvements to the Church Road – Te Rapa Road roundabout support these aspirations.

This project also supports the shared vision of Council and Waka Kotahi where no one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes. Learn more about the National Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero.

How is this project funded?

The roundabout upgrade is expected to cost approximately $1.1 million with 51% of the cost funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

How do these upgrades make the roundabout safer?

These safety upgrades are about making the roundabout safer for everyone. The raised safety platforms are designed to lower vehicles’ speeds to 30km/h when travelling through the roundabout, making the intersection safer for pedestrians and people on bikes. Slowing down vehicles’ speeds also helps create gaps for drivers to enter the roundabout, which keeps traffic moving.

There are no pedestrians using this roundabout. Isn’t this project a waste of money?

The number of people walking, biking and scootering through the Church Road - Te Rapa Road roundabout is expected to increase as work progresses on residential developments in Hamilton’s north. The semi-rural community of Rotokauri, located west of the roundabout, is also expected to grow to 16,000 - 20,000 in coming years. Improving road safety across key areas of the city gives people greater choices to get where they need to go safely and efficiently. A 2022 Access Hamilton survey of Hamiltonians found more than half of respondents (55%) would ride a bike more often if they felt safer on the city’s roads. The Church Road - Te Rapa Road roundabout is also near popular destinations such as The Base shopping centre and Countdown and Kmart.

Why are you fixing this roundabout when other intersections need improving?

This project is one of a series of upgrades being made to key roundabouts across Hamilton. These upgrades aim to make our streets safer and more accessible for everyone, no matter how people choose to travel.

As Hamilton grows, we need to change with it. This is why we are improving road safety across our city: to give people of Hamilton greater choices to be able to get where they need to go – safely, efficiently, and on time.

What other safety measures were considered for this intersection?

A range of options were considered for this site, such as a signalised intersection or a signalised crossing, but they were assessed as inappropriate as they would not fix speed concerns at the site and would add to  vehicles queuing. In the end, raised safety platforms on all entry and exit lanes were the preferred option because they reduce vehicles’ speed and improve safety for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Underpasses or overpasses were not considered due to the costs of these options. Hamilton City Council has a responsibility to consider all options, including financial implications,  when addressing safety issues on our transport network.




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Last updated 23 February 2023