How Does The Chicken Get….


Finally an end to the 15-month long $8.6 million Henderson’s Sturges Road rail replacement bridge project.

Fantastic news.

The only remaining question: how does the chicken cross the road?

On average, 17,000 vehicles used the road by the train station each day although that number may increase with the improvements.

Good luck dashing across to get a train

I seem to recall some years ago, residents’ complaints to their local community board about the risks crossing Sturges Road to get to the train station on the other side.

Seeing the street on its usual busy traffic day, I still fear for people trying to make it across and wonder why part of the upgrade did not take into consideration the fact students and other commuters need to get to the train station.

Pedestrian and cycle paths have been improved in the upgrade and the actual pedestrian walkway to the station improved.

Walkway to the station has been improved

There is a ‘pedestrian refuge’ further up the road but is it enough or does this need a controlled crossing?


Try getting across the road opposite the train station in peak time traffic and it can feel like a dangerous mission.

Pedestrian safety should always be taken it account where train stations are situated on busy roads.

Thankfully Newmarket got a nearby pedestrian crossing when the new station opened and Kingsland has finally got a pedestrian crossing across busy Sandringham Rd, probably thanks to the fact rugby fans will need it.

The good news is the bridge is finished and it’s hard to remember how bad and cracked the old one was.

The state of the old bridge a week before trains stopped running

The old 1940s bridge was not suitable for the electric trains. Improvements were needed to provide 60cm more clearance for electrification and for the double track underneath.

How it was

So the new bridge deck is around 60 centimetres higher than the former structure, which is why the road level on the approaches to the bridge needed to be raised and widened.

Plenty of room now for electric wires


A couple of postscripts:

Didn't take long...

Is this a leaky building?!




  1. joust says:

    Does sturges road need upgrading to a motorway since there are nearly as many people using it as the puhoi to Wellsford stretch.

  2. rtc says:

    A pedestrian refuge is a complete cop-out for pedestrians, IMO it’s only affect is to make the pedesrrian feel as though they should be ashamed of walking across the road. They should have installed a signalised crossing or a zebra crossing.

  3. mark says:

    rtc - I wholeheartedly disagree. I strongly prefer refuge pedestrian crossings to signals. There, I can decide MYSELF when to cross, rather than have to wait 1-2 minutes until the signal engineers give me permission. At signals I even have to wait if there’s no cars around at all!

    Signals are not good pedestrian solutions, all they say is “stay off our road until we give you carefully reglemented permission to hurry across in the three seconds the green light is on”. After signals, you get pedestrian barrier fences, drivers who think pedestrians should NEVER be on the road except at signals, and all the other “divide and conquer” between cars and pedestrians.

    Refuge crossings and zebra crossings are great if well done. Whether this specific one is good or enough, I don’t know. But as you can see from my response, I have a real problem with the “signals will solve everything” approach. Look at the Auckland CBD - pedestrian signals everywhere, yet a highly hostile place for peds.

    /rant off.

  4. Matt L says:

    As a local and therefore a regular user of this bridge it is definitely an improvement and obviously much than the temporary single lane bridge we had for a year however the works still haven’t been finished, there is still works going on the southern side and they were meant to be installing artwork on the bridge which is yet to happen. Another thing is right next to the bridge they have put in a few carparks, surely it would have been better to make that a bus stop to allow for easy integration between buses and trains.

    Coming back to the works that have happened one thing I really like is the really wide footpaths either side of the bridge and I hope they eventually carry them on further up the street. I have also seen some information that it was designed wide enough to allow for a cyclyway/footpath to be build underneath it however it Kiwirail appears to have different ideas seems that they have now put electrification masts in the way.

  5. Adrian says:

    I also am a local, living just around the corner from this bridge.

    The worst area for pedestrians trying to cross is actually on Swanson Road, where hundreds of students try to cross from the station carpark to the other side of the ride so that they can walk to the five schools nearby - Waitakere College, St Dominics, Liston, Henderson Intermediate, Henderson Nth Primary.

    I would much rather see a pedestrian crossing here.

  6. rtc says:

    @Mark - I completely agree with you in regards to signalised crossing and much prefer zebra crossings. However, both are superior to a refuge which just means you have to dodge through the traffic and have no priority. Even with a signalised crossing you can still just run across.

  7. mark says:

    rtc - as I said, I don’t know the place well enough, but it looks like one is only crossing a single lane each side at the refuge crossing? So that means it may work reasonably well in practice.

    I would love to see more zebras, especially if combined with raised crossings (as zebras alone don’t necessarily improve safety - under some circumstances, they actually cause extra pedestrian accidents). Have a look at the corner of Remuera Road and Broadway (left turn into Broadway) in Streetview. That’s what we need - but I suspect road authorities are still very hesitant to place them on through movements of major roads.


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