Work on the Spring Creek roundabout north of Blenheim has been delayed, with the NZ Transport Agency project now likely to be completed in spring this year.
The roundabout will improve safety and efficiency at the junction of State Highways 1 and 62, and Ferry Road, which is one of the busiest intersections in the region.
Marlborough Roads Highway Manager Frank Porter says work has been progressing more slowly than anticipated, with the construction team managing complex in-ground conditions and an unusually wet summer.
In recent weeks, the discovery of telecommunication cables in poor condition requiring replacement, has further delayed the project.
“We’ve also had to deal with the discovery of an historic fuel storage facility, which required specialist equipment and expertise to contain and remove. The colder weather means additional challenges for construction – poor weather, less daylight and cooler temperatures for finishing work such as sealing and road marking.”
The site is identified on the Hazardous Activities and Industries List(external link) (HAIL). Although contractors knew about the HAIL categorisation and expected some surface soil removal would be necessary, deeper fuel tanks were discovered during construction requiring more testing, remediation and mitigation work. That work is now completed.
Frank Porter says nearly 90% of the 32 crashes recorded at the intersection over the last 10 years happened while the driver was turning, and the new infrastructure and improved layout will make a big difference to safety in the area.
“Work on this safety project will resume by the end of June, once the telecommunications cables are replaced, with the roundabout likely to be completed in spring,” he says.
Until the project is completed, temporary speed restrictions will remain in place. Drivers should build in a few minutes extra time travelling through this intersection or getting to the ferry, he says.
Included in the design of the intersection is a new roundabout, traffic islands on all approaches, a layby on the southern approach to the roundabout for heavy vehicles waiting to turn right into Ferry Road, rail crossing barrier arms, new footpaths and cycle facilities, and a dedicated left-hand turn lane to Ferry Road. Landscaping and new signs (some electronic, some directional) will be installed.
The design ensures safe connections will be provided for pedestrians and cyclists to access residential and commercial centres and the nearby Awarua Park as well as connections to the recently completed Spring Creek to Grovetown Shared Path.
More information about this project, costing up to $5 million, which began in October 2016, visit the Spring Creek Safety Improvements project page.
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