The entire Russley Road Upgrade will open to traffic this month and to celebrate, the NZ Transport Agency is inviting people to an open day on top of Christchurch’s new Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge.
The open day will be held on top of the bridge, right underneath the 27 metre high ‘gateway arches’ on Saturday, 11 November. It will run from 10am until 2pm.
Due to limited space on the bridge, people will need to register online to get free tickets and book a time slot to attend. Each free ticket will go into the draw to win a helicopter ride with Garden City Helicopters.
Transport Agency Project Manager Chris Collins says the open day will be a once in a lifetime chance to stand on top of the Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge and get right up close to the gateway arches, before the new bridge opens to traffic the following week.
“People will be able to stand underneath the 27 metre tall gateway arches, take photographs and check out the view,” he says.
“They can find out more about the project and meet the construction team in the information hub, and there will be giveaways and colouring-in activities for the children.”
Event parking will be in a large area just off Peter Leeming Road, near Christchurch International Airport. Those with tickets will be escorted from the parking area to the event. Mobility car parking is available and the event is wheelchair and pram accessible.
Due to the size of the bridge and for safety, the event is restricted to pedestrians only. Sorry, no bikes, scooters, skateboards or pets allowed.
The majority of the Russley Road Upgrade is already open to traffic. The final part, the Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge, will open to traffic during the week starting 12 November.
Traffic management, including speed restrictions, will remain in place until April 2018 while the project team complete the final surfacing and other minor finishing works.
Motorists are urged to stay focussed and drive with extra care and attention while everyone gets used to the new road layout.
Tickets for the Russley Road Open Day are available through: www.nzta.govt.nz/russley-road-open-day
The project, which includes four-laning State Highway 1 between Belfast and Hornby and a new bypass to the west of Belfast, has been constructed in six separate sections.
Three sections are already finished and the final three – the Western Belfast Bypass, the Russley Road Upgrade and Johns Road Upgrade - will be completed or open to traffic by early December, around four months ahead of the original scheduled mid-March 2018 date.
Final surfacing work is being carried out on the Johns Road Upgrade – Groynes to Sawyers in November, completing this section.
There will be temporary speed restrictions and lane closures on both the Russley Road Upgrade and the Western Belfast Bypass for a few months post-opening to allow the project teams to carry out final surfacing and complete other minor works.
The Western Corridor will reduce congestion and improve travel times, provide better walking and cycling connections and boost safety, says Mr Collins.