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Major Invercargill highway intersection improvement work about to start

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Updated - 24 May 2021: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has awarded a $5 million contract to build a roundabout to increase safety and reduce crashes at the Elles Road/ State Highway 1 (SH1) intersection in south Invercargill, with work already underway.

Please Note: A proposed fourth leg (the Lake Street extension), is a local road, not part of the highway network, and proceeding with this is dependent on a feasible and affordable rail design. If this isn’t found, other options will be investigated.

The intersection has been identified as high-risk due to the number and frequency* of crashes. The contract has been awarded to Fulton Hogan.

Download a larger view of the concept design of the Elles Road/SH1 roundabout [PDF, 3.1 MB]

Waka Kotahi Senior Project Manager Jason Forbes says 200 metres south of this intersection is Lake Street, which provides access to an industrial site that is attracting increasing numbers of large trucks. This traffic growth means this intersection needed upgrading, so it made sense to improve safety at the SH1 and Elles Road intersection and Lake Street access at the same time. 

“The roundabout, that’s largely within the existing SH1 and Elles Road corridors will have a leg dedicated to servicing Lake Street including the industrial site. Crash modelling indicates investing in a roundabout will deliver the best safety outcomes for all road users. It will do this by reducing high risk vehicle movements at road crossing points and lower overall traffic speeds.” 

Mr Forbes says the safety of cyclists and pedestrians is to the fore with this project with the proposed design separating cyclists from the roundabout traffic lanes and guiding them safely through the roundabout. It also links to existing separated cycling paths and a new one adjacent to the extension to Lake Street. 

A wetland near the roundabout site currently filters discharges from the existing road network. This wetland will be modified and enhanced as part of this project, with Waka Kotahi working closely with Invercargill City Council, DOC and local iwi to achieve this, says Mr Forbes. 

Invercargill City Council Roading Manager Russell Pearson says his council is very happy with the Waka Kotahi announcement.  “The roundabout at the SH1/ Elles Road corner will improve the traffic flow to and from Bluff which is excellent news.” 

The contractor will move on to the site from early January and will manage work in a way that minimises disruptions to road users. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2022. 

SH1 Elles Road intersection safety improvements project

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