The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is beginning the consenting process for construction of the next stage of the Western Corridor as part of the Christchurch Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme.
This, the fourth stage of the Western Corridor, is to four-lane Johns Road (State Highway 1) from The Groynes to Sawyers Arms Road, separated by a central median. The design includes a roundabout at Clearwater Avenue and the development of a one-way service lane between Wilkinsons Road and Gardiners Road.
“Traffic volumes along this route have been steadily increasing in recent years and the road has become much busier since the Canterbury earthquakes as it is now also a major commuter route with many Central City businesses having relocated to the west of the city,” says NZTA State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.
“Johns Road is a critical route for freight operators accessing export markets through the Christchurch International Airport and the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, as well as freight hubs on the southern and western fringes of the city.
“Four-laning the road will not only help to improve traffic flows and reduce congestion along the route, but it will also improve safety and take pressure off local roads, making these safer for pedestrians, cyclists and the local community,” he says.
“Safety will also be addressed by changes at the Greywacke Road, Gardiners Road and Wilkinsons Road intersections, where left-only turns will be permitted.”
The Western Corridor is one of three corridors, being built and improved to the north, south and west of Christchurch, that support the economic growth of Canterbury through the efficient movement of people, goods and services and better link the airport, the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and the Central City.
Mr Knaggs says with better connections in and around Greater Christchurch, road users will enjoy reduced travel times and vehicle operating costs, saving on fuel and helping to lower vehicle emissions.
“All residents will benefit from the construction of the Christchurch Motorways, whether they travel on them or not, as the more efficient transportation of goods about the city will reduce travel costs and get produce to market fresher, representing savings and benefits for everyone.”
He says as highlighted, the roads of national significance will bring significant social and economic benefits to the city.
“This next stage of the Western Corridor will not only improve safety at intersections along this section of the road but will provide improved cycle and pedestrian facilities with dedicated cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and shared paths at major intersections.”
Mr Knaggs says Christchurch residents will soon be asked for their comments on what is proposed through the Christchurch City Council’s consenting process.
Construction of this stage of the Western Corridor is expected to begin next year and be completed late 2016.
For more information visit the website www.nzta.govt.nz/groynes2sawyers.(external link)
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The four-lane Western Corridor will run from Belfast to Hornby. It involves upgrading 12kms of existing highway and intersection improvements, including a Gateway Bridge at Memorial Avenue and a Southern Airport interchange near Avonhead Road. The new highway is expected to be completed in 2018.
The Western Corridor is critical in supporting the Christchurch rebuild and the economic growth of Canterbury through the efficient movement of people, goods and services, and by linking the Christchurch Airport, the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and Central City.
The Western Corridor is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently.
Other RoNS are: Ara Tuhono - Puhoi to Wellsford, Auckland’s Western Ring Route, Auckland Victoria Park Tunnel (completed in 2012), Waikato Expressway, Wellington Northern Corridor and Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link).
For the latest on Christchurch road conditions go to: www.transportforchristchurch.govt.nz(external link).