Claudelands Bridge – Lane widths

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When it comes to carrying traffic, Claudelands Bridge has always been a lightweight. For the last two decades it has carried between 10,000 and 13,000 vehicles per day (vpd). Compare this to the Fairfield Bridge, with its narrower 3.07m lanes, which carries 18,000 to 20,000 vpd.

Question 1 – Is it reasonable to think that if Claudelands Bridge vehicle lanes were the same width as the Fairfield Bridge, there would be no effect on the number of motor vehicles using Claudelands Bridge?

Is it reasonable to narrow vehicle lanes to 3.1m on Claudelands Bridge, so we can use this width to widen the footpaths to 2.6m at a very low cost.

Question 2 – If buses no longer used Claudelands Bridge, we could have 2.8m car lanes and give 8- to 80-year olds the same 2.8m width for walking/biking. Would this be fair?

The bridge has a limit on motor vehicle weights, which suggests that increaseing the bridge’s overall width would need some serious engineering checks and would also add cost, complexity and delay to the project.

Focus on the words “less than nine months” in the above summary of the re-decking of Victoria Bridge in the early 1990s. Among the Hamilton City Council staff there are some amazing people who can make things happen. There are plenty of ideas about what can be done to improve Claudelands Bridge. The Victoria Bridge re-decking example shows that the design and build can be done within a few months. The delay comes firstly from political willingness to actively support change and secondly from the availability of NZTA funding.

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One comment on “Claudelands Bridge – Lane widths

  1. Why option 2 to get rid of buses? Why not instead get rid of cars and just have a single reversible bus lane with the rest of the space for walkers and cyclists? The junction with Victoria St creates lots of delays for pedestrians and would work a lot better for them if the bridge and Victoria St were closed to through car traffic.

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