There will be lengthy delays of up to 20 minutes at Christchurch’s Russley Road/Memorial Avenue airport intersection this weekend as part of the Western Corridor project reaches a key milestone. Drivers can avoid delays by taking the suggested detour routes (see map below).
The team working on the $112 million Russley Road Upgrade are removing the large, temporary roundabout and replacing it with a new signalised intersection.
Pete Connors, Transport System Manager for the NZ Transport Agency, says the permanent change means traffic will be able to travel to and from Christchurch International Airport, under the new Gateway Bridge, for the first time.
“The interchange and gateway arches are a key part of the Russley Road Upgrade and getting traffic moving underneath the structure for the first time is another major milestone,” says Mr Connors.
“It is an exciting step forward but it will mean delays for travellers during the switch, which will happen from 7pm Friday, 4 August through to Sunday evening, 6 August.
“During this time the existing traffic lights will be switched off and speed restrictions, lane closures and other traffic management will be in place.
“These changes will create delays of up to 20 minutes for motorists. Our advice is to allow extra travel time and consider taking other routes during the work, especially if people are travelling to and from Christchurch International Airport or other time critical destinations.”
Motorists travelling to the airport are urged to take Harewood Road or the new Southern Airport Access.
The change will allow the project team to complete the new road on top of the bridge as they work to complete the overall project.
People travelling through the intersection will need to pay close attention to the new signage to ensure they are in the right lanes, and be courteous to other drivers who will also be getting used to the new road layout.
The Russley Road upgrade is one of the six sections of the $300-$350 million Western (external link) Corridor upgrade from Belfast to Hornby to a four-lane, median-separated highway. Three of the six sections are finished, with the remaining three underway.
The upgrade will reduce congestion, improve travel times, provide better walking and cycling connections between the airport and city, improve safety, and support economic growth.
It is on track to be complete by early 2018, months ahead of schedule. More information on the project is available here (external link) .