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Design work to four-lane Johns Rd section SH 1 on Christchurch Western Corridor nears completion

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) expects to finish design work to four-lane State Highway (SH 1) from The Groynes to Sawyers Arms Road section of Christchurch's Western Corridor by the end of this month.

The project is part of the Christchurch Roads of National Significance programme (RoNS). It is one of seven programmes nationally identified for investment by the government because of the contribution they can make to supporting economic growth, reducing congestion and improving safety.

NZTA State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says plans to four-lane SH 1 between Hornby and Belfast has been in the pipe line for years with RoNS programme classification allowing this work to be accelerated. While the necessary highway designations are in place for this Johns Road section of SH1 consent approvals are still required and will be applied for between August and the end of this year. The earliest construction could start is late 2012 with a scheduled completion date of 2014.

“This work is part of a wider project to four-lane SH 1 from Hornby to Belfast to cope with increasing traffic growth on this highway.  Traffic has also increased markedly since the earthquakes that have hit Christchurch since September last year.”

Colin Knaggs says SH 1 between the Groynes and Sawyers Arms Road will be widening with two lanes in each direction with traffic separate by a central median with a roundabout at Clearwater Drive. For safety reasons, a one-way service lane is expected to be built between Wilkinson’s and Gardiners Roads to minimise the number of properties with direct access on to what will be a busy four-lane highway.

Safety will be greatly improved by restricting traffic movements across the new highway with left turn in only at Gardiner’s Road, left turn out only at Wilkinson’s Road and left turn in and out at Greywacke Road. While the NZTA appreciates this will be an inconvenience for some road users including those living in the Gardiner’s and Wilkinson’s Roads areas. Hopefully, they understand the safety reasoning behind this decision and the risks posed by traffic trying to turn across what is going to be a busy four-lane highway Mr Knaggs said.

More information about this project is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/groynes2sawyers(external link)

Editor’s notes

The Government has identified seven essential state highway projects linked to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments and is a key part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan and Government’s Policy Statement for transport.

The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are: Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1, Completing the Western Ring Route, Auckland - SH16, SH18 and SH20, Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1, Waikato Expressway - SH1, Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2, Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1, Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link)

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
NZTA Southern region Communications Advisor
T DDI 03 951 3005   
M  021 954 928   
F  03 951 3013
E-mail bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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