Work is set to kick off this week to enable the future construction of the Northern Arterial project in Christchurch, starting with the building of two embankments on Belfast Road.
Building the embankments now will allow land settlement to take place before the Northern Arterial construction gets underway in earnest in late 2016.
Contractors will be on site this week to begin work on the embankments, which will be used to construct a bridge to take traffic on Belfast Road over the Northern Arterial when it is completed.
To make this work possible a temporary road will be built around the site to the south of Belfast Road.
The Northern Arterial project is a new four-lane, median separated highway starting at the existing Christchurch Northern Motorway, south of the Waimakariri River bridges, and runs to the east of Belfast and Redwood, connecting with QEII Drive near Winters Road.
The construction of the Northern Arterial will divert more traffic onto QEII Drive so this road will also be upgraded from two lanes to four, between Main North Road and Innes Road reducing congestion and delays for traffic travelling to the port.
The project also includes the addition of a third northbound lane on the Waimakariri Motorway Bridge through to Tram Road and off-road pedestrian and cycle facilities.
The NZ Transport Agency expects to appoint a team of contractors to build the Northern Arterial in mid-2016, with construction expected to start before the end of the year 2016.
More info on the Northern Arterial can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/northern-arterial(external link).