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The upgrade of the hill section of Puketapu Road – a major winter roading project – has now been completed.
The road was reconstructed from Harpham Street to the Napier City Council/Hastings District Council boundary above the Taradale Cemetery.
Puketapu Road has become well used by cyclists and walkers in recent years so the revised alignment was carefully engineered to provide a separate footpath along with enough carriageway space for vehicle traffic and cyclists. The lane markings are offset to provide a wider shoulder on the uphill lane to allow more ‘wobble’ room for climbing cyclists. As well as being the most affordable option, keeping to the existing alignment helps to minimise any increase in traffic speed which in turn has safety benefits for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
Extensive use was made of timber retaining walls, subsoil drains and kerb and channel to achieve this balance without the need to encroach onto any adjacent properties.
The tightest spot was near the bottom of the hill where a separate pedestrian ramp now links to both the urban part of Puketapu Road and the evolving recreational area of the Kent Terrace stormwater detention dam. Council has set aside funding to develop a network of network of pathways across this area.