People will be able to explore Canterbury’s newest stretch of motorway, Christchurch’s Western Belfast Bypass, during an open day on Sunday, 29 October.
The NZ Transport Agency is inviting people to walk, run and cycle on the 4km long bypass before it opens to traffic in stages from early November.
Transport Agency Principal Project Manager Geoff Griffiths says the community open day will run from 10.00am until 2.00pm.
“The open day is a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk, run or cycle on the new highway before it opens to traffic,” he says.
“People will be able to check out an information hub and find out all about the project, see construction machinery, and get food and drink from some local stallholders while they explore the project.”
There will be giveaways, a colouring competition for the kids, and plenty of free water, sunscreen and bathroom facilities along the project.
The interactive Safety MAN Road Safety Truck (external link) will also be onsite, sharing safety tips, showing fun safety videos and giving people the chance to experience what it’s like to be a truck driver.
Parking is available at The Groynes and mobility parking is also available. Mobility card holders can park at the designated area at The Groynes entrance. Staff will escort people in their cars onto the project area, right by the info hub.
More information at: www.nzta.govt.nz/western-belfast-bypass/community-open-day
The Western Belfast Bypass is a new four-lane, 5km stretch of highway, including the approaches. Bypassing Belfast, it extends the Christchurch Northern Motorway (SH1) and connects into State Highway 1 (SH1) Johns Road, west of The Groynes entrance.
The project also includes three new bridges, off-road walking and cycling facilities and a new-look entrance to The Groynes recreation area.
Traffic will be switched onto the new bypass in stages from early November. This staged opening will allow the project team to complete the final parts of the project, such as connecting the bypass up to the existing road network and carrying out surfacing work on the on/off ramps.
A northbound lane (heading towards Picton) will open to traffic first, followed by a southbound lane (heading towards Christchurch International Airport) about a week later.
Weather dependent, all lanes of the bypass are expected to open to traffic in December 2017. The team will be back to lay the final low noise asphalt surfacing in spring 2018.
Once complete, it will reduce congestion and travel times and provide a better and safer link throughout greater Christchurch.
The Western Belfast Bypass is one of the six sections of the Christchurch Western Corridor, a multi-million dollar project that will transform State Highway 1 between Belfast and Hornby.
The Western Corridor will reduce congestion and improve travel times, provide better walking and cycling connections and boost safety. It is one of three corridors that make up the Christchurch Motorways Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme.