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Kingsford-Smith Drive to get even busier
11 July 2009
With the introduction of new residential and commercial developments in Hamilton, such as Northshore Hamilton and Hamilton Harbour, Kingsford-Smith Drive and the surrounding streets are set to get even busier.
Already one of the inner-north's busiest main roads, Kingsford-Smith will have to cope with the expected 15,000 new residents to call Hamilton home, many of whom will have to commute to the CBD each day.
Clayfield MP Tim Nicholls believes the surge in Hamilton's population will cause traffic gridlock on surrounding roads.
"Kingsford Smith Drive is already crippled with traffic in the afternoons and people have difficulty getting out of Harbour Rd and into Kingsford Smith Drive and vice versa,'' he said.
"It's just ridiculous to lob another 15,000 people into that area without seriously addressing the traffic issues.''
Unfortunately there aren't too many options for increasing Kingsford-Smith's capacity, with the current six lanes taking up all the available space between the river and the houses which line it.
Whilst compulsory acquisition has been used to clear properties in the path of the airport link, it is highly unlikely that the government would even consider acquiring the dozens of multi-million dollar mansions along Kingsford-Smith drive, especially given that a number of them are heritage listed.
Another option which has been floated is the reclaiming of land along the river. The Hamilton reach of the river is very wide and could handle having a few metres reclaimed for the widened road, however the cost would perhaps be prohibitive.