My cheaper underpass than flyover suggestion for our dangerous Pine Hill road/Great King St intersection.

From: Lee Vandervis <>
Date: Monday, 7 March 2022 at 7:25 PM
To: Grant Miller <>
Subject: FW: Great King/SH1 from Pine Hill intersection grade separation

Hi Grant,

Not wishing in any way to have pre-empted Cr. O’Malley’s $400 million plus massive multi-lane multi-block undergrounding of the One Way street past the new Hospital, I made the following short single lane underpass suggestion as a cheaper solution to the massive overpass dyke that was being suggested for the Pine-Hill Great King Street intersection as below back in December of last year.
Apparently my suggestion was passed on to NZTA, but no response or confirmation of receipt has been received by me.



From: Lee Vandervis <>
Date: Monday, 13 December 2021 at 7:34 AM
To: Jeanine Benson <>, Simon Drew <>, Sandy Graham <>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <>
Subject: Great King/SH1 from Pine Hill intersection

Hi Jeanine,

I was impressed with our paperwork which details the risks and problems that have long existed with the at-grade intersection of Great King Street and Pine Hill road.
The problems of driver frustration at this intersection, high traffic volumes of 10,000 per day, the T-bone crash issue, the brake-failure issue of especially truck brake failure due to overheating descending from Pine-Hill, the 17 crashes many of which could have been far worse resulting in many more fatalities, site line issues and bottle-neck queuing of north-bound traffic on Great King st are all very well described and are well illustrated.

Grade separation is obviously called for but as someone who has studied Physics at University level and been a Truck driver for 40 years, I have serious concerns about how this grade separation with a massive long high truck overpass has been conceived.

In my view the proposed solution of creating a raised curved dyke for downhill trucks with smoking brakes to be able to rumble over the top of Great King traffic is ill-conceived and creates many new problems in the process of curing the current at-grade collision problem. It also significantly worsens the current ‘truck falling off the road’ problem, as the bigger they come, the harder they fall.

I believe that the desired grade separation should be achieved instead by creating a narrow underpass for Great King northbound traffic to NEV and slightly realigning Pine Hill and Great King Southbound lanes to facilitate the proposed truck containment barrier [much cheaper to build at ground level] that would separate the co-joining of them.

A Great King/NEV underpass would have the following advantages:
1 – the existing gradual decline from Pine Hill would be retained but with an unimpeded run-off down to the One-Way south.

2 – the existing Duke street intersection would not be lost and could be improved.

3 – extraordinary amounts of hard fill would not be required to make the massive high ugly raised dyke proposed that would have to have enormously expensive side support barriers built up even higher to try and contain trucks that would otherwise be at risk of falling off this raised blot on the landscape.
4 – the existing intersection could be simplified with the less-used Pine Hill to NEV turn removed as this route is easily available with the existing left turn off Pine Hill 200 m earlier.
5 –  further intersection simplification is available by removing the Great King right turn onto the One Way south in favour of the retained earlier Duke st right turn option.
6 – cycleway/pedestrian options are improved in all directions, with much less turning traffic danger to cyclists.
7 – the Botanic Carpark can be retained [although I recognise that for some the retaining of carparks may not be weighted as a positive].

An underpass instead of overpass achieves the same desired grade separation, but with much less impact visual impact, less roading space required, reduced risk of trucks ‘falling off’ the road, better sight-lines, better cyclist/pedestrian options, and likely less cost.

If this overpass proposal goes ahead, there will invariably be an awful future ‘I told you so’ issue, as there was with sticking those stairs and ramp on the front of the St Clair seawall only to be pounded to bits by the surf.  

Please forward this suggestion to NZTA Waka Kotahi technical staff and decision-making administrators along with any comments/improvements you may have for their consideration.

Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

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