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Contract for the Caversham Highway Improvements project awarded


The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has awarded a contract to Downer EDI Works to design and construct the Caversham Highway Improvement project in Dunedin.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has awarded a contract to Downer EDI Works to design and construct the Caversham Highway Improvement project in Dunedin.

The first commitment under this contract is for the project design with a value of $1.6M.

The overall project cost, including design, property purchase, and construction is expected to be between $30M and$35M.  It involves a duplication of the existing Caversham bypass, including a new highway bridge at the Glen, to achieve a four-lane highway median divided highway between Andersons Bay Road and Barnes Drive. The Barnes Drive intersection will be upgraded to improve traffic safety and capacity.  And the route through Caversham Valley through to Lookout Point will also be upgraded to improve safety by widening and realigning of the highway including a central median and property access service lanes. 

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Otago-Southland Regional Director Bruce Richards says while letting the contract is an important step toward building this project it may be up to 12 months before construction starts. A lot of work is involved in the design of what is the biggest road construction project in the region since the completion of the Fairfield Motorway in 2003.

“The Caversham Highway is the busiest state highway in the Otago-Southland region with 25,000 vehicles a day using it. During peak hour travel, traffic bottle necks can form on the two-lane Caversham bypass, causing traffic queues back to Andersons Bay Rd.  This congestion adds to the time it takes to drive from Mosgiel to Dunedin and vice versa during peak travel periods”.

Bruce Richards says if State Highway 1from Anderson Bay Rd to Lookout Point is left as it is, traffic delays, particularly during peak travel times, will worsen. This will lead to greater pressure on nearby local roads as drivers seek alternative routes to avoid this congestion.

Mr Richards added that the project will also improve road safety on this section of State Highway 1 which has a crash rate above the average for urban and rural state highways. Only yellow lines separate traffic on this 25,000 vehicles-per-day corridor, with some sections having a 80km/h speed limit. Once this project is completed all traffic lanes will be median separated.

Improved pedestrian and cycle access will be provided across State Highway 1 at Lookout Point, and in other areas along the route, existing facilities will be upgraded.

It is expected that construction of the Andersons Bay Rd to Barnes Drive section of this project will commence in 2011 and be finished in 2013. Work from Barnes Drive to Lookout Point is scheduled to start in late 2012 and will take about 2 years to complete.