Erasing one of the most visible scars of Hamilton's V8 street circuit won't come cheap, with council budgeting $185,000 to spruce up the city's Norton Rd roundabout.
Work on the busy roundabout started this week and will include restoring the central island paved over in 2008 to accommodate Hamilton's V8 super car street race. At midday yesterday, eight trucks were on site.
Council's operations team leader Robyn Denton said the roundabout would be beautified with "cricket-themed" planting to coincide with the city's co-hosting of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The pavement lifted from the central island will be salvaged and reused in other roading work. Improvements to the roundabout also include upgrading the "splitter" traffic islands to provide safer crossing for pedestrians.
The islands would provide a safe area for people to stand while waiting to cross the road, Denton said.
"At the moment it can be difficult for pedestrians, including those with mobility aids, to safely negotiate their way around the area. The work will make it easier and safer for everyone."
Funding for the upgrade work has come from the council's safer speed area programme.
Contractors are expected to take several weeks to complete the roadworks, depending on weather conditions.
The works are not expected to trigger major traffic delays.
Business owners around the Norton Rd roundabout welcomed the upgrade, saying the roads feeding into the junction were notoriously difficult to cross for pedestrians during peak hours.
Foundation bakery and lunch bar owner Aroha Wise said the splitter traffic islands would make it easier for her Frankton customers to cross Norton Rd. "From a safety point of view I think the upgrades are going to be a big help. Some people drive through the roundabout like they're in the V8 race and it can be really hard for people to cross safely."
Amar Dhillon, of Kiwi Liquor, said he hoped the council used reflective bordering around the outside of the roundabout to help motorists negotiate the site.
- Waikato Times
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