Design will start later this year on the realignment of State Highway 1 to the north-west side of the Fonterra site in Edendale, Southland, bypassing the Edendale community.
The NZ Transport Agency is preparing documents for the design contract for the bypass, with the aim of starting preliminary works on site mid-2017.
“Support from both Fonterra and the local community has been great to date, and will be even more essential as we progress through design to construction,” said Transport Agency Projects Team Manager, Simon Underwood.
The scope of the project is to provide a new highway alignment which bypasses the Edendale community and the Fonterra site. This would provide a much higher level of safety than the current dog-leg, which includes two rail sidings, the Fonterra site access as well as access to homes, the Edendale Primary School and the recreation ground. The cost of the new two kilometre alignment, which will carry around 4500 vehicles a day, is expected to be between $10-15 million and will take around two years to complete once construction has started.
A roundabout towards the southern extremity will allow the highway to remain at 100km/h, and connect to Edendale via Salford St and the Fonterra site.
The new alignment is proposed to also include a northbound passing lane and an underpass for the movement of stock and light farm vehicles.
Currently, the nearest passing lanes for those travelling north are located just north of Mataura and the recently constructed dual passing lane at Woodlands, just north of Invercargill, both more than 20km away in either direction. “Limited passing opportunities can cause frustration for drivers, which in turn leads to crashes caused by ‘risky’ overtaking manoeuvres,” said Mr Underwood.
The growth of the dairy industry and expansions at the Fonterra site has led to an increase in tanker movements on this busy road. The Transport Agency and Fonterra are committed to working to reduce the impact of these movements. The proposed roundabout provides a much safer alternative for these tankers entering and exiting the highway traffic.
The aim of the new bypass and associated works is to ensure the state highways support the efficient movement of freight, and contribute to safe, reliable journeys for all road users in the region as part of the wider Southland transport network.
For more information about this project go to www.nzta.govt.nz/edendale(external link)