Traffic has started moving more freely at the busy BP roundabout at Frankton this week with new traffic lanes now operational. The NZ Transport Agency has been working on the roundabout at the intersection of State Highways 6 and 6A since January, including adding a new dedicated Queenstown-bound traffic departure lane.
This $750,000 project, delivered by the Transport Agency on behalf of the government, is a small but significant contributor to a wider improvement programme to get traffic moving smoothly in the Frankton area and to reduce delays for drivers. Work on the traffic lanes was completed this week, with work on the footpath to be finished in the next few days.
Transport Agency Southern Business Unit Manager Ian Duncan says it is great to have the roundabout finished in time for the busy winter ski season. In addition to the dedicated Queenstown departure lane, there are now dual lanes around most of the roundabout, with the inside lane being a full circulating traffic lane.
The aim of the upgrade is to reduce delays for drivers heading in either direction - towards the Shotover Bridge and into Queenstown.
Mr Duncan says there are strong safety elements to this upgrade in the form of improved safety for pedestrians crossing SH6A, Frankton Road, near the BP roundabout. A shared walking and cycling path along Frankton Road has been connected to nearby McBride Street. Longer term, further work is planned in this area to make it more accessible for both pedestrians and cyclists.
In collaboration with the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), and as part of the same contract, a significant water main upgrade was carried out on behalf of Council.
QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen is happy to see the work completed in time for winter. “This is another example of the positive working relationship between QLDC and the Transport Agency. Being able to include a major piece of water infrastructure in this project has saved our ratepayers money and motorists unnecessary delays. This comes hot on the heels of the opening of stage one of Hawthorne Drive yesterday, alongside the construction underway on the new two lane Kawarau Falls Bridge. It is pleasing to see such significant progress being made.”
Combined with the new Hawthorne Drive stage one work, which will allow drivers to avoid the BP roundabout to get from SH6 along Glenda Drive to Remarkables Park, drivers should start to notice the improved choices and greater efficiency getting around Frankton, says Mr Duncan.
Hawthorne Drive is co-funded by Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Transport Agency.