Flyover too windy for pedestrians

04:07, May 20 2014

Strong gusts could blow pedestrians off their feet when they walk across the Basin Flyover, one wind expert has warned.

The impact of the proposed $90 million flyover on wind flows in and around the Basin Reserve was canvassed at the Board of inquiry hearing this morning. The four person board is considering whether to allow the NZ Transport Agency to go ahead with the bridge project. 

Wind expert Michael Donn gave evidence for the Architectural centre and Newtown Residents Association. 
He warned that lifting pedestrians above ground level and into cross-words could be dangerous, although it was unlikely anyone would be blown off the bridge. 

"This may cause pedestrians to be blown off their feet, and cyclists and pedestrians to collide."

He questioned why anyone would choose to use the pedestrian path when easier, less windy options were available. 

"Are we making a route that people would choose to use on a regular basis? The risk is that people would go 'yeah but'."
He estimated there would be up to 200 days a year when people would choose not to use the flyover. 

However, NZTA's wind expert Neil Jamieson disagreed that it would be dangerous, and said the wind levels were within local guidelines. 

"People can choose to brave these conditions or not, or take alternative routes ... Many of which would be much windier than the Basin Bridge is likely to be."Dunn also said the proposed new pavilion could create more "turbulence" on the Basin's cricket pitch, as wind could swirl up and over the building. 

Jamieson said the "net effect of the Northern Gateway building is essentially going to be beneficial on the wind effects in the ground."

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