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One year on: good progress made on Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2

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It’s been just over a year since the first sod was turned on the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2 and the NZ Transport Agency says the project is progressing well as shown by the latest drone footage and photos. (See links below)

The Southern Motorway Stage 2 project will four-lane Main South Road (State Highway 1) from near Rolleston to Robinsons Road, and see a new section of motorway built to connect with the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway at Halswell Junction Road.

Waterholes Road bridge being built in recent weeks

Waterholes Road bridge being built in recent weeks

The sod was turned on November 4, 2016, and the project is on track to open to traffic in early 2020.

Transport Agency Principal Project Manager, Geoff Griffiths, says the Downer McConnell Dowell Joint Venture construction team is making good progress, with two of the project’s eight bridges almost complete, two new local roads open to traffic and more than 500,000 cubic metres of earth and other materials moved to make way for the new stretch of motorway.

“The team has completed decks and other work on the Main South Road and Waterholes Road bridges and the Trents Road Bridge abutments are completed and ready to receive pre-cast beams in January 2018,” Mr Griffiths says.

Work on another major structure, the Weedons Underpass, is in progress and temporary roads are being constructed at Halswell Junction Road and the Shands Road/Marshes Road interchange. Traffic will be moved onto these roads in early 2018 to allow the team to start constructing these bridges.

Two new local roads, Manion Road and Tiptree Lane, opened to traffic earlier this year and Justine Drive, a third local road to the east of Main South Road, will open in January 2018.

There has also been extensive work to relocate power, telecommunications and other services along the project alignment. Meanwhile, at the city end of the project, John Paterson Drive is being extended to join with Halswell Junction Road. This work will continue until the end of the year when the new alignment is expected to open to traffic.

There will be a lot of major changes in 2018 when the team will begin to widen Main South Road to two lanes in each direction, says Mr Griffiths. “This is a large and complex operation that will involve extensive traffic management,” he says.

“Alongside this, work on the Weedons Interchange will be in full swing and construction of the underpass at Robinsons Road will also be underway. Earthworks and pavement construction will continue through the greenfields section of the project from Robinsons Road to Halswell Junction Road, with large amounts of material to be moved. It will be a busy year for the construction team as they head towards the half-way stage of the project.”

Mr Griffiths says that motorists travelling around the Selwyn District, near the project, should expect detours, speed restrictions and other traffic management as work continues.

“Traffic will be closely monitored to minimise disruption and delays however work of this scale cannot be undertaken without some effects. People should plan ahead and allow extra travel time.”

The Christchurch Southern Motorway (Stage One, completed, and Stage Two, underway) is expected to halve travel time between Rolleston and Christchurch at peak times from 30 minutes to 15 and reduce fatal and serious crashes by 40 per cent. Stage One opened to traffic in December 2012 and Stage Two is on track to open to traffic in early 2020.

More information here(external link)

Latest drone footage CSM2

Dropbox with latest images (October 2017) and construction images (September 2017)(external link) 

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