Motorists travelling along State Highway 1 to the west of Christchurch are enjoying better travel times with this week’s completion – on schedule and on budget – of the first section of the Western Corridor upgrade.
Russley Road, from Yaldhurst Road to Avonhead Road, has opened to four lanes of traffic and vehicles can again travel at 80km/h along this section of the Western Corridor, says the NZ Transport Agency’s Canterbury/West Coast State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.
“Apart from a couple of days in early spring to lay the asphalt top coat on the west side of this section of the corridor when temperatures are warmer, this section of the Western Corridor is now complete, on schedule and on budget.”
The Western Corridor is part of Christchurch’s Roads of National Significance programme, one of three corridors, one each to the west, south and north of the city, which are critical in supporting the Christchurch rebuild and the economic growth of Canterbury through the efficient movement of people, freight and services, and by linking the Christchurch Airport, the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and Central City.
Mr Knaggs says the next section of the Western Corridor to be completed will be Johns Road from Sawyers Arms Road to Harewood Road. ‘This section is scheduled for completion in February next year and will be followed mid year by the completion of the four laning of Carmen and Masham roads. “This will then see the Western Corridor four-laned from Avonhead Road to Main South Road.”
He says good progress is being made on the Western Corridor. “This is a big project. It involves upgrading 12kms of existing highway and intersection improvements, including a Gateway Bridge at Memorial Avenue and a Southern Airport interchange near Avonhead Road, and the construction of 4kms of new road.
“When completed in 2018/19, the Western Corridor will provide a four-laned expressway from north of Belfast through to Hornby.”
The final three stages of the Western Corridor are currently going through the designing and consenting phases. These are: