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christchurch northern corridor banner

Project introduction

This project combines the Transport Agency’s Northern Arterial (a new section of SH74 running from just south of the Waimakariri River to QEII Drive near Winters Rd) and two Christchurch City Council projects that link QEII Drive to Cranford St and four-lane Cranford St to Innes Rd.

  • Estimated project cost

    $240 million
  • Project type

    Roads of National Significance
  • Project status


Project updates

QEII Drive and Grimseys Road update - February 2018
Project updates, (PDF)
Grimseys Road subway closure
Project updates, (PDF)
Project update – December 2017
Project updates, (PDF)
Works Notice Cranford St - Knowles and Weston
Construction updates, (PDF)
Works Notice Cranford Street night works Nov 2017
Construction updates, (PDF)

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Latest news

September 2017

Work progressed well through the winter months even in the very wet conditions. However, we are please that the rain is finally making way for spring conditions.

We now have a number of videos on our video page that explain our work and introduce some of our crew members.

The installation of wick drains (the grey strips sticking out of the ground) is going well. These drains help to speed up the ground settlement so it happens in months not years. We are installing timber piles on the project to support the bridges and subways. Timber piles are being used as they are more cost effective and perform better in earthquakes. The working platform (a 0.5m layer of compacted earth and stone) continues to stretch out over the entire length of the motorway alignment. Have a look on the gallery page to see some aerial photo of our site.

Work on QEII Drive is now making quite an impact on this area, on clear days the view to the Southern Alps is spectacular. We will be starting work on the upgrade of Cranford Street in January 2018. In the next weeks we will be setting up our site office and staging area at the Cranford/Innes Intersection.

What is the CNC project

The Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) will extend the Northern Motorway through to QEII Drive and Cranford Street and included:

  • A new four-lane motorway starting just south of the Waimakariri River to connect with QEII Drive near Winters Road and then continue through Cranford Basin to link with Cranford Street
  • An upgrade of QEII Drive to four lanes between Main North Road and Innes Road The addition of a third northbound lane on the Waimakariri Motorway Bridge through to Tram Road
  • An upgrade of Cranford Street to four lanes to Innes Road
  • Off-road pedestrian and cycle facilities linking to existing and new cycle facilities in the area.

The CNC is the first alliance contracts of this size in the South Island. It is an alliance between the NZ Transport Agency, Christchurch City Council, Fulton Hogan, Aurecon and Jacobs.

The project brings many benefits to Christchurch and Canterbury including: more efficiently movement of Freight in and out of Christchurch and Lyttelton Port, and better access to the industrial growth area in Belfast. The CNC will make travel times in and out of Christchurch shorter and more reliable via all main routes – the CNC, Main North Road, Marshland Road and the Western Belfast Bypass (SH1) to be opened in early 2018.

This new motorway and its connections will be built to high modern safety standards and will also move heavy traffic off suburban roads making them safer, encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport – especially through Redwood and Belfast.

For more details on the CNC project, download a copy of the overview map [PDF, 3.9 MB] pictured below.

CNC overview map


This new motorway is critical to supporting the continued growth of Christchurch as a business centre and the export hub for the South Island’s economy, and to improving journey times for commuters. Many of these commuters have rebuilt their homes in North Canterbury following the earthquakes.


Safer streets – moving heavy traffic off suburban roads making them safer and encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport. The new motorway will be built to high modern safety standards.

Improved access – freight will move more efficiently in and out of Christchurch and Lyttelton Port.

Improved travel times – shorten travel times in and out of Christchurch and improve reliability via all main routes.

Economic growth – enable sustainable residential development in the north of Christchurch and support commercial and industrial development throughout Canterbury.

Reducing congestion

For more information on ways to reduce congestion on the Northern Motorway visit our Northern Corridor Congestion – Facts, Stats and Answers page.