|Grade separation/Level crossing
A grade separation is a crossing of a road and rail tracks, a motorway and a local road, or a road and a pedestrian/bicycle facility at different levels. It eliminates crossing conflicts and improves operational efficiency.
In Takaanini, we are planning to grade separate local roads and the rail by building bridges over the rail tracks. That will mean pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can move around the community faster and safer without waiting for trains.
In less than 10 years, we expect that trains will be going past level crossings every two to three minutes in Takaanini. This means safety barriers arms could be down for up to 75% of the time during the morning peak, creating significant delays to anyone trying to get across the railway tracks.
In time, all level crossings in Tāmaki Makaurau will be removed. However, removing all level crossing will be a complex and costly exercise and will take some time.
We don’t have a fixed timeframe yet and this work is still a number of years away. We expect that work will start within the next 10 years. Our project team is now identifying the land required for these future changes.
Yes. To make the proposed changes, some properties on Taka Street, Takanini Road, Walters Road, Spartan Road, Manuroa Road, Oakleigh Avenue and Manuia Road will be impacted.
We are contacting potentially affected land owners directly.
You can call or email us at any time if you are uncertain about possible impacts to your property.
A new rail crossing for all road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorists) is being proposed in the vicinity of Manuia Road. We are still working through the exact details of where the new bridge will start and finish, but it is likely that the new bridge crossing will connect to Oakleigh Avenue in the vicinity of Hitchcock Road.
Earlier information said that a new grade separated crossing might be considered to connect Rangi Road and Mahia Road, why isn't this being progressed?
In an earlier phase of the project, an option was proposed to connect Rangi Road in the east, over State Highway 1 and the rail line, to Mahia Road in the west. A key purpose of this option would have been to provide a replacement for the closures of the Spartan and Manuroa Road level crossings, and to provide an east-west crossing for frequent bus services.
Following a project review in 2021, it was decided that this option was not preferred because:
- Changes to the future frequent bus network meant it no longer required an east-west connection in this location.
- Environmental effects and construction costs were likely to be significant, and not considered to be outweighed by the benefits.
- A less impactful, cheaper option was developed at Manuia Road.
We looked at the option of underpasses, but the flat topography, significant flooding issues and soft ground mean that underground options were going to be more expensive than bridges.
Yes, it will. Closing level crossings means that the number of railway tracks can be increased in the future resulting in even more train services and improved efficiency. Removing level crossings also reduces weaknesses in the system, as there will be a reduced risk of faults and incidents occurring.
Yes! We are planning a long-term strategic transport network with well-designed transport connections that are safe, accessible and sustainable. You can read more about this work at www.supportinggrowth.govt.nz
Projects will be funded from the National Land Transport Fund. Some funding is allocated over the next ten years for level crossing removal and replacement, but a process of prioritisation needs to be undertaken to decide which projects receive funding and when.
Why is a walk and cycle only bridge the option for Spartan Road? Why isn't it a bridge for vehicles too?
We investigated a number of options to determine which connection would provide the best outcome for the industrial area, including whether or not a new bridge for all road users at Spartan Road would enable industrial traffic to get to key destinations.
Initially, we considered Spartan Road as a potential location for full grade separated access to the Takaanini industrial area. Due to engineering complexities (for example, a vehicular bridge at Spartan Road would be difficult to fit) and the inability to turn right out of Spartan Road onto Great South Road, we determined closing Spartan Road to vehicles was the best long-term outcome at this location.
Our work concluded that Spartan Road was not the preferred option for a vehicular bridge because:
- There would be safety and operational impacts at the Great South Road and Takaanini interchange.
- The proximity of the rail line to the State Highway 1 off-ramp is an issue. A bridge for motorists would need to go over the existing overhead electric lines, over the rail line, and then dropdown to go under the existing off-ramp. Land constraints mean a bridge would require two structures and more land.
Our assessment showed that a new connection for vehicles was better placed at Manuia Road rather than at Spartan Road.
While not the preferred location for a vehicular connection, a connection for pedestrians and cyclists is planned to help get people get to and from places like the Te Mahia Station, bus stops on Great South Road and to connect with cycleways.
Why is a walk and cycle only bridge the option for Manuroa Road? Why isn't it a bridge for vehicles too?
When considering what was needed to provide for travel south of the industrial area, we had to decide between providing vehicle access at either Manuroa Road or Taka Street. Initially, we considered Manuroa Road as a potential location for grade separated access to the Takaanini industrial area.
We assessed whether Manuroa Road could act as the western access point for the industrial area. Due to the residential nature of Manuroa Road, it was determined that this was an unsuitable long-term option for industrial traffic, which is expected to increase over time and cause noise, vibration, and safety concerns.
The Manuia Road option will provide access to the industrial area, allowing for right turning at the intersection with Great South Road, and also reduce the number of heavy commercial vehicles using residential streets.
Our assessment also showed that providing bridges for motorists on both roads did not result in notably more benefit (relative to the cost and more significant impact and disruption to the community of two bridges).
Manuroa Road was not preferred for vehicle access because:
- Manuroa Road is closer to the Manuia Road intersection and the State Highway 1/ Takaanini interchange. This means that if accidents happen on Manuroa Road there may be a flow-on disruption to the operation of the Manuia Road intersection and the State Highway 1 / Takaanini interchange.
- The option of Manuroa Road would have resulted in a less evenly spaced transport network and provided less resilience for the network.
- A vehicle connection at Manuroa Road would have likely resulted in more properties being impacted.
- Using Manuroa Road as the main connection to and from the industrial area would result in increased industrial traffic on a largely residential street.
- A further benefit of Taka Street compared to Manuroa road is that Taka Street services more diverse and intensive areas when considering land use and development.
While not the preferred location for a vehicular connection, a connection for pedestrians and cyclists is planned at Manuroa Road to help get people get to and from places like Takanini School and local shopping centres.