Nek Minute: Two years in two minutes, Christchurch airport intersection’s sculptural transformation


New time-lapse footage released today by the NZ Transport Agency shows the dramatic transformation of one of Christchurch’s busiest intersections*, condensing two years of construction into a two-minute video.

The footage(external link) uses time lapse photography to show the process that turned the Memorial Avenue/Russley Road roundabout into the new Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge, complete with 27 metre high ‘gateway arches’.



The footage starts in October 2015, when the Russley Road Upgrade got underway and finishes in early November 2017, a few days after the new bridge opened to traffic.  It also shows the new bridge lit up at night in a variety of colours.

The video was released today, along with similar footage showing the Harewood Roundabout(external link) being enlarged and the new Southern Airport Access(external link) being constructed, both also key parts of the Russley Road Upgrade.

Transport Agency Project Manager Chris Collins says the time lapse footage shows how much work has gone into changing the three sites.

“These videos show the incredible transformation that has taken place and highlight the amount of hard work that has gone into this project,” he said.

“It is astonishing to see these major changes condensed into a few short minutes of film and gives you a real sense of what has been achieved and the difference this project will make to travellers.”

The entire Russley Road Upgrade is open to traffic and the project is on track to be completed in April 2018.

Mr Collins says there will be speed restrictions, night time road closures and detours, along with other traffic management in place over the next few months as the construction team lays the final surfacing and carries out final works.

Major roading projects like the Russley Road Upgrade are usually opened to traffic for three to six months before the final asphalt surface is laid. This settling period helps create a high quality final surface.

*On average nearly 32,000 vehicles travel along Russley Road each day (both directions combined). Memorial Avenue has between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles, combined directions.