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Christchurch Southern motorway construction underway

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Transport Minister Steven Joyce today turned the first sod on the Christchurch Southern Motorway stage one extension, the first step in a major $730 million upgrade to the highway system leading into and around Christchurch.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce today turned the first sod on the Christchurch Southern Motorway stage one extension, the first step in a major $730 million upgrade to the highway system leading into and around Christchurch.

“I am delighted work is starting four months ahead of schedule thanks to the concerted efforts of the Government and the NZ Transport Agency”, says Mr Joyce.

“This project is expected to directly employ 150 people from the contractor, Fulton Hogan, the designers and sub-contractors, and of course there are the downstream support services and suppliers as well.”

The Christchurch Southern Motorway stage one extension was one of five medium-large projects nationwide to benefit from the Government’s short-term $142 million stimulus package announced last year.

“This project will promote economic growth and improve safety by developing better access to the Christchurch CBD, Lyttleton port and bypassing Templeton and the industrial areas around Hornby.”

The Christchurch Southern Motorway is part of the Christchurch Motorways Road of National Significance package which benefits from the Government’s $11 billion commitment to state highway improvements over the next ten years.

Other projects in the package include further stages of the Southern Motorway, the Northern Motorway extension, and the Western corridor - construction of which will now start this year.

“I’m very pleased that the first stages of the Western bypass will now also commence this year as a result of the Government’s highway funding. Christchurch people will now see real progress on their highway development plan.”

The Minister today released further details of the Christchurch highway plan including an expectation that all of the projects will be completed within ten years.

“The government designated the Christchurch motorway improvements as a road of national significance because of the importance of the network to Christchurch and the importance of Christchurch to the national economy.

“With New Zealand’s second largest airport and second busiest exporting port, Christchurch is undeniably the transport gateway for business and tourism, for the whole South Island  Improving the access to the city and its air and sea ports will help achieve the step-change in economic growth that this country needs.”

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