Search Results for: claudelands

Claudelands Rd / Heaphy Tce rail grade separation

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Wikipedia tells us that “the East Coast Main Trunk (ECMT) carries 52% of freight between Waikato and Bay of Plenty and is one of Kiwi Rail’s most profitable lines. In 2018, 163 trains a week passed under Hamilton, 90 of them on weekday nights, or evenings, 37 at weekends and 36 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. The line is at 70% capacity and growing”

Although there is space to double-track along the existing rail corridor through the Claudelands neighbourhood, it will more than likely mean people will have ‘plant or equipment working within 5m either side of the track’ for long periods of time, which may impact the rail operational area. This is why double-tracking through O’Neill Street maybe an option.

Grade separation of the Heaphy Tce rail crossing would benefit the whole Claudelands neighbourhood and users of Heaphy Tce. The O’Neill street option does this, but the O’Neill St double-tracking option cannot realistically be staged. Using the Claudelands Rd alignment for double-tracking allows it to be staged. Let’s say stage one is rail grade separation under Grey St.

Claudelands Rd east of New Street will be most affected over the long term. The Cosmopolitan Club car park reduction will gravely compromise the club, along with the Cosmo Bowling Club greens being rearranged. There is no need to remove people’s dwellings, but people living at 17 Bell St and 29F Claudelands Rd will most likely lose a corner of their private properties.

The beauty of running a rail line along Claudelands Rd is that every part can be done in affordable stages. For example, it would be possible to build a short part of the roof* of the tunnel as part of a Heaphy Tce/Grey St/Claudelands Rd intersection road diet , so when it comes to major cut-and-cover work, north/south traffic can still flow freely.

*Roof reference. Cut-and-cover: Top-down method: Side support walls and capping beams are constructed from ground level by such methods as slurry walling or contiguous bored piling. Only a shallow excavation is needed to construct the tunnel roof using precast beams or in situ concrete sitting on the walls. The surface is then reinstated except for access openings. This allows early reinstatement of roadways, services, and other surface features. Excavation then takes place under the permanent tunnel roof, and the base slab is constructed.

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Claudelands Subway building repurposing

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The photo below from 1965 [HCL_03581] ‘is taken from the east side of where the Claudelands Road traffic bridge starts. At the bottom of the pedestrian walkway is the Subway Buildings, with awnings. On the far side of River Road is a butcher shop. To the right of the butcher shop is Alf Ward Ltd, an IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) store’

The original Claudelands Rail Bridge was repurposed to a motor traffic bridge, with footpaths on both sides. With reduced pedestrian traffic on the southern side, in time, the butcher’s shop and IGA land was repurposed to a car park. The subway shops were repurposed from Waikato Drycleaners to an opportunity shop and disco hire

Over time the subway buildings’ commercial activity value declined and parts were repurposed as ground floor apartments, which now in the 2017 district plan are a Non-complying Activity (NC) in business zones.

The subway building is an example of the cyclical process cities go through, like the old warehouses along the canal in Groningen being repurposed as apartments.

In the 1981 District Scheme, there is a rule, ‘5.1.3 Screening requirements – All zone boundaries, other than street boundaries, shall be effectively screened at all times to the satisfaction of the Council by a solid fence not less than 2m in height’. This seems an odd rule and maybe this is the reason the wall was built along the street frontage of the subway building.

Having a front fence of your choosing is fine, but if a solid fence is a rule, it looks unhealthy and unnecessary. The row houses alongside the subway building (179 River Rd) and the Groningen apartments are examples of good public surveillance of the street front. People’s desire for privacy differs, and people choosing to live on an active frontage are more than capable of managing their privacy using passive or solid screening of their choice.
A final note: if the River Plan Project is to ‘Create a wide and appealing promenade style river walkway … Provide an improved connection to Claudelands Bridge, to complete a river’s edge walking and cycleway circuit’ (link to post on Jesmond Park), the subway shops could again be repurposed as commercial, completing the cyclical process that is so normal in cities worldwide.

Category: News