Work began yesterday (26 October) on the centrepiece of Hamilton’s newest Waikato River bridge to Peacocke.
Extending over the new part of Wairere Drive, a new cycling and pedestrian bridge will be installed to provide a connection to the nearby network of shared pathways and Te Awa River Ride. This is part of Hamilton City Council’s commitment to make it safer and easier for Hamiltonians to walk, bike and scoot around the city.
Executive Director Strategic Infrastructure Andrew Parsons said not only did the bridge service a functional purpose it was visually stunning and another exciting milestone for the project.
“The main bridge deck has been installed, before smaller deck sections and finally, two steel masts are lifted into place."
“This will provide safe ways to move in and out of the new community to connect with Hamilton East and central city, primary considerations since the start of this project,” said Parsons.
The 71m long footbridge is made up of five steel sections with more than 200,000kg of weathering steel. Local engineering company, PFS Engineering, fabricated the footbridge and masts at their workshop in Riverlea.
Alongside PFS Engineering, Council also collaborated with Hamilton-based architects Edwards White and structural engineers Bloxam Burnett & Olliver to design and deliver the footbridge.
“We’re really proud to be supporting and working with local companies, especially during the past two years of economic challenges,” said Parsons.
Council’s partnership with the Southern Links Tangata Whenua Working Group, meant the footbridge was identified early on as part of the network of cultural expression and symbolism across the Southern Links transport projects.
Parsons said cultural symbolism and Maaori designs have been incorporated into the steel masts, known as taurapa, which act as a cap on top of the concrete foundations.
The finishing touches to the footbridge won’t be completed until mid-late next year and will include shared paths connecting each side, plantings, seating and signage.
“While the structure is in place now, it will remain closed to keep our community and crews safe while the Wairere Drive extension and Waikato River bridge are completed underneath,” said Parsons.
The footbridge will be opened in mid to late-2023 as part of the new Waikato River bridge project and included in the Hamilton Section of the Te Awa River ride.
Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3 million 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1 million of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, a transport network that caters for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, opening the area to the Waikato River, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.