19 February 2020
New bus and equestrian parks – last piece of the Long Mile Road upgrade
The last piece of the Long Mile Road upgrade involves new bus and equestrian parking space.
These new parking areas are located among the redwood trees and due to the trees’ root network, this work has required some innovative engineering.
The new bus parks are being created where the dedicated equestrian parking used to be and the new equestrian parking area will be in a seperate area just south of this. This area will be dedicated to equestrian parking only. While we recognise this area is smaller than before, we have spoken with several equestrian users onsite to gain insight into how we can make the area as user-friendly as possible. A new compost bin, horse hitching posts, horse pens, and a new mounting block will be built over the next couple of weeks. The ground surface of this area will remain as is at this stage. If this area does not suit all users – there is more parking available within the old horse corral approximately 100m down Long Mile Road.
The new bus parks are located in a beautiful area, surrounded by redwoods that were planted in 1903. Like many trees, the majority of the redwoods’ feeding roots live in the top 200mm of the soil. Excavating this soil and laying a road surface directly on top of it would disrupt these essential roots and restrict any new root development in the area, all of which would be detrimental to the trees.
In order to protect the roots and the longevity of the redwoods, the project team got creative designing the bus parking pavement. They needed to come up with a suitable all-weather surface for vehicles, while still enabling these trees to thrive.
Together with Campbell Contracting, Council staff, and WSP, the project group has come up with an innovative road surface that will sit approximately 30cm above the natural ground level. Boulders will border the car park and the pavement will be comprised of layers of geo-textile grid, drainage rock, geo-textile cloth, bedding sand, and finally permeable paving panels infilled with limechip. The area will be permeable, and air and water will be able to flow between the rocks, allowing the surrounding redwoods to continue to thrive.
Once complete, buses will be able to drive up a gentle incline in the road and unload their visitors into the heart of the forest.
For more information about this project visit rotorualakescouncil.nz/forestdevelopment