Work has kicked off on the new $14 million Papanui Parallel cycleway and the contractor is trialling a new 360 degree way of looking at things.
Fulton Hogan, the contractor building the Papanui cycleway, started work on St Albans streets this month, and is trialling new safety measures on one of the trucks involved in construction in a bid to continuously improve safety.
Fulton Hogan Contracting Services Divisional Manager, Tony Thompson, said the truck had been retrofitted with a 360 degree camera to give the driver an in-cab full view around the truck at all times.
“This is a truck that is driving around town and around cyclists constantly as we work on this cycleway build, so we wanted to trial some new safety measures that promote the safety of cyclists” Mr Thompson said.
“The camera is set up so that when the truck is stationary, for example at a set of traffic lights, there are no blind spots at all. A cyclist on the inside lane can be easily seen on the screen inside the cab. The camera takes away the entire issue of driver blind spots.”
The truck had also been fitted with side rails to ‘deflect’ cyclists, meaning there is no chance cyclists can be dragged under the vehicle.
Mr Thompson said the technology would be trialled throughout the Papanui Parallel rebuild, and assessed for future projects.
The 4.9 kilometre Papanui Cycleway is part of a wider council programme to create 13 Cycleways throughout the city. The entire project, forecast to cost more than $162 million, is aimed at creating a city-wide cycleway network, making cycling in Christchurch safer and more appealing.
Christchurch City Council Head of Transport Chris Gregory said the start of works on the Papanui route was a significant milestone for the Cycleways programme.
“We are working to offer people a genuine transport choice that feels safer for them. We think this will get people out of cars and onto bikes, which is a great result for both transport modes."
Mr Gregory said the cycleway network development was an ever evolving process, but the end result would be a network-based approach connecting the whole city to the central city.
“The Government is behind this and it feels like we have a complete, one team approach. We’re providing very real options and it is incredibly exciting to see years of planning coming to fruition now as these cycleways get underway.”
There are currently construction sites on Sawyers Arms Road, Grassmere Street, two on Rutland Street and one on Colombo Street.