The New Zealand Transport Agency says the opening of Queenstown’s Glenda Drive Intersection Improvements Project, is another building block in a wider programme to improve traffic flows on rapidly growing Frankton Flats, near the town.
The project was officially opened today by Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay at a ribbon cutting ceremony. The $8.2 million State Highway 6 (SH6) Project was jointly funded by the Queenstown Lakes District Council ($3.5m) and the New Zealand Transport Agency ($3.4m). Commercial developers contributed $1.3m toward the cost of the Glenda Drive roundabout.
Todd Barclay congratulated the construction and design team and the partnerships which had funded the project. “Developments such as this are a significant enabling factor for people coming into the district for work and pleasure.”
The Transport Agency’s Southern Business Unit Manager Ian Duncan, said
strong growth in commercial developments on the Frankton Flats around Queenstown International Airport is predicted to continue for at least another 10 years.
“This makes it essential that the capacity of the road network in this area continues to keep pace with that growth and that safety for road users and residents is a top priority. There’s more work planned to provide more efficient connections between the improvements we’ve made at Glenda Drive and the new two-lane Kawarau Falls Bridge due to open in the third quarter of 2017.”
SH6 between the new Grant Road roundabout to the intersection of the planned Eastern Access Road was widened to four lanes, as part of the Glenda Drive Intersection Improvements Project.
“Fulton Hogan’s contracting teams have worked hard to minimise disruptions for road users from the time this project started in February 2015. Generally, drivers have responded well to the additional work on the highway over the last 12 months and we are appreciative of that,” Mr Duncan said.
High health and safety standards were noted by Fulton Hogan Central Region Manager Paul Bisset, who reminded people at today’s opening that snow and frost were constant factors throughout last winter’s work. With 22,000 vehicles a day, the road corridor was a tight working space for crews and services in the road, under the asphalt, made the project complex and required thinking outside the box.
Ian Duncan said a lot of planning and long-term thinking has gone into integrated transport projects underway, or planned, to manage rising traffic volumes associated with the commercial development of the Frankton Flats. This is to ensure they benefit the wider Wakatipu Basin well into the future.
Cr Ferg (Craig) Ferguson of Queenstown Lakes District noted the project was another piece in the Queenstown transport jigsaw puzzle. He thanked residents for managing the daily disruption to their work and he thanked the road crews for dealing with the face-to-face frustrations of drivers in all weathers. “Nothing in haste,” he said. “From the beginning, think what may be at the end.”
Taare Bradshaw, Chair of Hokonui Runanga and Ngai Tahu representative, blessed the site and wished everyone well as it is used in the future.