The NZTA says work on the first stage of the new Christchurch Southern Motorway will restart next week.
Work on the Road of National Significance project began around 12 months ago, and Canterbury State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says last month’s earthquake caused little damage to the motorway construction site. The Christchurch City Council is supportive of work starting again on this project that is crucial to rebuilding the city.
Mr Knaggs says the NZTA’s primary focus in Christchurch remains earthquake recovery. Up to 120 staff from the Christchurch Southern Motorway project went to assist with the initial response to the earthquake. A range of equipment went with them such as excavators, loaders, truck and trailer units along with drainage gear including pumps and water carts.
“During the subsequent recovery response phase, some staff and equipment have been released and are now available to resume work on the Southern Motorway project.”
Mr Knaggs said land owners whose properties back onto the construction site have been notified that work will resume from next week.
Once the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway is completed in 2013-14, it will improve travel times from the south to Lyttleton Port and the Christchurch Central City. Currently this route reaches capacity during peak hour travel times, leading to frustrating delays for motorists. This congestion impacts on people and freight traveling to the port, reducing the efficiency of transport and increasing costs to businesses.
Mr Knaggs says many NZTA staff, consultants and contractors have also been directly affected by the quake, and many are now heavily involved with quake recovery work.
Public consultation on Stage 2 of the Christchurch Southern Motorway and parts of the Western Corridor originally planned for March/April will now be re-scheduled as a result of the quake.
For more information please contact:
Regional Communications Advisor
T DDI 03 951 3005
M 021 954 928