A contract has been awarded to build a bypass to take State Highway 1 (SH1) to the north-west side of Edendale, in Southland. Work is expected to start in coming weeks.
“Fulton Hogan has been awarded the $13 million construction contract and will get underway with site preparation works in June. This is one of the largest highway projects seen in Southland for many years,” says NZ Transport Agency Project Manager Jason Forbes.
“The safety and efficiency of the current section of highway is affected by a tight 45km/hour curve, three different speed limits, two rail lines that cross the highway to the Fonterra site and a steady stream of highway traffic past the local primary school, a lot of which are heavy vehicles.
“The new bypass will improve the journey for freight traffic and provide safer and better connected journeys for all road users. The lack of safe passing opportunities is an issue on SH1 between Gore and Invercargill, causing frustration for drivers, and sometimes encouraging ‘risky’ overtaking manoeuvres. The new bypass will help address this problem with the introduction of a new north bound passing lane,” says Mr Forbes.
“Support from both Fonterra and the local community has been excellent. Their input into the project design has been invaluable and helped with the final design of the bypass. It is important that the realignment meets the needs of the Edendale community and the local dairy factory,” Mr Forbes says. A roundabout towards the southern extremity of the bypass will allow the highway to remain at 100km/hour, and connect to Edendale via Salford St and the Fonterra site.
Mr Forbes said strong growth in dairy and expansions at the Fonterra site mean there are a lot more milk tanker movements on this busy section of SH1.
Moving highway traffic away from the current location will improve safety, and bring considerable environmental benefits for the Edendale community, with less traffic noise and fewer vehicle emissions.
The new 2.6 kilometre long bypass will carry more than 5,000 vehicles a day, and take about two years to build.