Quick, efficient, done – when simplicity wins the day
Sometimes going large and with concrete (both which take time and money) is not the most optimal or even efficient solution when needing a fix for a problematic intersection.
Auckland Transport decided to have a case of “where the rubber hits the road” (and literally at that) in trialling a rubber roundabout.
From Auckland Transport:
Rubber roundabout to be tested in Waiuku, southern Auckland
A cost-effective roundabout is set to make a central Waiuku intersection safer for all road users.
The intersection of Queen Street, Victoria Avenue and Court Street will see a rubber product being trialled in the coming months.
The problematic intersection has seen a total of 11 crashes in the last five years (2015-2019) with two resulting in serious injuries.
The rubber roundabout is expected to lower driving speeds at this intersection. It can be fitted quickly and cheaply, compared to a more expensive concrete roundabout.
The idea was first raised by the Franklin Local Board and the councillor for the area – Deputy Mayor of Auckland Bill Cashmore.
Mr Cashmore says the use of recycled rubber for a roundabout is a first for Auckland Transport (AT).
“It ticks so many boxes – environmental sustainability, build speed, cost and resilience of the material. It’s great that Waiuku can gain a road safety measure that is fit for purpose.”
Matthew Murphy of the Franklin Local Board says he is pleased that a quick and cost-effective way of transforming a problem intersection is being trialled in Waiuku.
“This will make the intersection safer for vehicles and pedestrians, while being built quickly and relatively cheaply. It will provide a solution for our town that would usually cost a fortune and create massive disruption during construction. I see this as a pragmatic outcome with heaps of benefits.”
Franklin Local Board Chair Andy Baker says the intersection has been getting busier and it’s great that AT has looked around for more cost-effective options to try to make it safer and easier for all road users.
Randhir Karma, AT’s Group Manager of Network Management, says the rubber product is relatively new to New Zealand.
“The supplier is Traffic Products Australia and the product is shipped in pieces and assembled on site. The chosen rubber product is widely used in Australia and the product materials are environmentally-friendly and suit the Auckland setting.”
“At locations like this, where it is appropriate to do so, we want to be able to roll out tactical solutions that cost less.”
Mr Karma says the project needed to be stress-tested before it was rolled out more widely across the Auckland network.
“If the product works, then we have yet another tool in the box to quickly tackle safety issues on our roads.”
The installation of the rubber roundabout will be coordinated with road repair works to reseal the intersection – likely over the coming summer construction period.
The work will include the addition of new rubber side islands at the pedestrian crossings, to help people cross the road safely.
Projects like this one are another step towards AT’s goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. AT is guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures.
All goes well and hopefully we will see more of these rubber roundabouts installed through out Auckland.
And yes it is truly a case of where the rubber hits the road!