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Ashhurst traffic mitigation project nearing completion

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Work to make it safer and easier to get around Ashhurst, following the closure of State Highway 3 (SH3) through the Manawatu Gorge, is almost complete.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Palmerston North City Council have been working together with locals to make changes so the village is safer and can better cope with the increase in traffic flow.

Waka Kotahi Regional Transport Systems Manager Ross I’Anson says the project team is now 90 per cent complete and people will notice work crews packing up in the village centre and other locations in the next few weeks.

“Work on the remaining two projects, widening Wyndham Street (between Oxford Street and Cambridge Avenue), and a footpath connection near the intersection of Lincoln and Bamfield Streets, will start after the Christmas break in January. Work will start on the SH3/Cambridge Ave intersection in the new year.

“We have listened to the local community and added the Wyndham Street work after being approached by several residents concerned with the width of the road and the amount of trucks using it on a daily basis.

“The additional width will give vehicles more space to travel along the road, as well as reducing damage to the seal edge and grass berms,” Mr I’Anson says.

The package of work includes new raised islands, planting and kerb buildouts to create a slow zone around community facilities, shops and Ashhurst School, new footpaths and pedestrian facilities, and changes to intersections to improve traffic flow.

The footpath connection will be completed by the end of February, with all remaining work to be complete in March 2021, depending on weather.

“We are on the home straight now, and we’d like to say thank you to the community. It has been a busy couple of years, and we are grateful for your patience and understanding while we have been making changes to make it safer and easier to get around Ashhurst,” Mr I’Anson says.

Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith says the council is also working on and planning on more improvements for Ashhurst.

“This year we’ve completed footpath upgrades and extensions on Oxford, Stanford South and Wyndham Streets and once Waka Kotahi has completed its work on Wyndham Street, we will complete our remaining work.

“We’re also working on roading programmes to include in our 10-year plan which will be considered and consulted on next year, including upgrades to some Ashhurst roads. We look forward to getting feedback from Ashhurst residents on that next year.”

More information on the Ashhurst traffic mitigation project can be found online www.nzta.govt.nz/ashhurst 

Road repairs on SH2 Lower Hutt along River Road will commence on 4 January 2021. Detours will be in place diverting traffic onto the local roads. 

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