Last updated 14 April 2021

Construction and timing

  •   Is the new motorway open?

    Yes – all new features are complete. The Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2 (CSM2) project opened in stages to traffic from June 2020. The new roundabout at the intersection of Waterholes Road/Main South Road/Dawsons Road opened late December 2020. Final surfacing work will continue throughout the first quarter of 2021.

    As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, completion of surfacing on the motorway was delayed and opening of the motorway was later than would normally be planned. Construction commenced in October 2016.

  •   Who will carry out maintenance on the Southern Motorway?

    The contractor has a three-year maintenance period to maintain new, upgraded or altered areas within the project corridor.

  •   Why are there different road surfaces along the motorway?

    This will be the case until final surfacing is completed in the first quarter of 2021.

    Before final surfacing, it’s important to wait until after the chip sealed surface has been through a winter period to ensure the quality of pavement. The chip sealed surface needs time to embed to ensure it is waterproof.

    In areas of high stress such as interchanges where vehicles brake and turn, asphalt is laid. This is a high strength asphalt that is laid immediately, unlike the porous noise reducing asphalt which will be laid on the chip sealed areas, once the chip is bedded in and we have ensured it is waterproof.

  •   What does final surfacing involve and how long will it take?

    Applying the final road surface is a 2-stage process; the first being an application of a chip seal layer started in November 2020. Work is completed in approximately 3km to 5km sections in both directions per week. For example, 3km of citybound road is chip sealed and 3km of southbound road is chip sealed each week.

    The second stage is when the final low-noise asphalt is laid. This will be laid progressively over a 2 two-month period – the first quarter of 2021.

  •   Will final surfacing affect the speed limit?

    Yes. During the application of final seal, a 30km/h speed restriction is put in place. The road will reopen to two lanes with speed restrictions of 50km/h each morning, by 6am. It is very important all motorists follow the sign-posted speed limits.

  •   Why is final surfacing work 'weather dependent', even though winter has passed?

    Surfacing work, including chip sealing, line marking and asphalting, is extremely dependent on the weather and air temperature. We will do our very best to provide timely updates if work is rescheduled. Follow these Facebook pages for regular updates:

    Transport for Christchurch(external link)

    Waka Kotahi South Island(external link)

    Subscribe to updates(external link)

  •   Why is final surfacing mostly happening at night – what about nearby residents?

    Because traffic volumes are lower at night and so disruption to traffic is minimised as much as possible. The work may produce noise and low vibrations – crews are reminded of the requirement to work within recommended noise limits. We inform residents accordingly. 

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  •   Where do Halswell residents travelling northbound from Rolleston exit the motorway? And where are the signs?

    Motorists traveling northbound between Rolleston and Halswell can exit at the Shands Road Interchange – taking the northbound off-ramp signposted “Exit”. 

    The pre-warning signage is approximately 1km before the exit and is indicated with an arrow: “Hornby/Airport”.

    From here, Halswell-bound motorists can either travel via Shands Road/New Marshs Road/Springs Road/Halswell Junction Road or Shands Road and back to Halswell Junction Road. Curletts Road is also an option for people at the city end of Halswell.

    Waka Kotahi follows the Manual of Traffic Signs and Markings which is mandatory on state highways.

    We have to restrict signage to major destinations such as the Airport, city and Hornby.

    We don’t mark every exit available to suburbs such as Halswell and Prebbleton etc as there are a number of exit options for each suburb. 

    Furthermore, travelling at 100km/h, motorists can only read and absorb three to four lines in a sign – so we also limit the information for practical reasons.

    Physical maps of the new alignment are available and have online versions, we also have videos on the website showing how to use the motorway and many cars now have GPS to assist with way-finding.

    Online maps of the new alignment(external link)

    Videos showing how to use the motorway

  •   I'm hearing complaints about motorway signage - what is happening?

    Once the motorway is fully completed, a period of time (approximately eight to twelve months) will be allowed for motorists to become familiar with the new road layout and for traffic to settle.

    At that stage, the motorway signage will be reviewed and if any changes are identified as being required, they will be made.

    In addition to that signage-specific exercise, there is an independent post-construction road safety audit. Any signage changes recommended as a result of that audit will also be considered.

    We appreciate feedback and all feedback is being collated, so that all concerns can be checked during the review and post-construction safety audit.

    Both council authorities (Selwyn and Christchurch City) were consulted on signage during the design phase of the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 2 project.

    Furthermore, the motorway design was independently checked by a team of road safety auditors at the final design stage, prior to construction. In addition, regular quality assurance checks are undertaken to ensure that what is designed is constructed. 

    For all inquiries (including signage) please make contact with us via the project email address and we will respond as quickly as we can.

  •   Why is there a wait at Springs Road Roundabout and to access the motorway onramp?

    When new roads open, a period of time is allowed for motorists to become familiar with the new road layouts and for traffic to settle.

    Line marking on the road and signage currently shows the correct lane to travel in: left lane should be for traffic travelling straight or left, with the right lane for traffic travelling straight ahead or turning right.

    With any multi-lane roundabout, applying the give-way rule is required.

    With this roundabout, there is a relatively short distance for drivers to move across lanes to get to the on-ramp. 

    People should only enter the roundabout from the city-side leg of Springs Road when both lanes on the roundabout are free.

    Drivers entering the roundabout are required to give way to both lanes of traffic on their right. This enables drivers on the roundabout in the centre lane to turn left safely.

    We ask all users of the roundabout to bear this in mind and be patient as motorists become familiar with the new layout.

    Alternatively, Springs Road citybound traffic can turn left onto Marshs Road and us the Shands Road Interchange to enter the motorway.

  •   Why are Prebbleton residents having to wait at Springs Road Roundabout?

    Further to the explanation above, while traffic settles and people are getting used to the new layouts, an alternative route for Prebbleton residents heading to the city, is to turn left from Springs Road onto Marshs Road to access the onramp at Shands Road. The Shands Road onramp has traffic lights, making it easier to access the motorway.

  •   Why is there no motorway onramp from Halswell Junction Road now?

    The previous route in place was only ever temporary to allow for motorway construction.

    From Halswell Junction Road, permanent access to the motorway onramp is via the Springs Road Roundabout.

    (Every motorway interchange ramp, whether an entry or exit ramp, interrupts traffic flow. Motorway interchanges on the Christchurch Southern Motorway are spaced every 5km to 8km according to recommended guidelines, to ensure traffic flows efficiently).

  •   Heading southbound to Rolleston, why do two lanes merge before the Rolleston traffic lights at Hoskyns Road?

    The merge helps reduce speeds approaching the intersection and signals, particularly with the signals being located on the curve. Planning is underway on the Rolleston Transport Improvements Project which includes a bridge linking Rolleston Drive to Hoskyns Road, therefore removing the need for signals. As part of the design for this project, the position of the two to one lane merge will be reassessed and likely shift south from its current position. Construction is expected to start in 2024 and continue through to 2026.

    More information on the NZ Upgrade funded work which will be included in the Rolleston Transport Improvements Project can be found on the Canterbury package page.

    Canterbury package

    The Weedons Interchange provides alternative access to Rolleston via Levi Road, which leaves the Main South Road access to Rolleston less congested.

  •   Why are there queues southbound on the motorway approaching Rolleston?

    The current queuing in the evening peak is due to construction work and temporary traffic management on Weedons Road/ Levi Road which means people can’t exit at the Weedons interchange to access Rolleston. This traffic is currently having to continue south to Rolleston Drive, adding to volumes and causing the queuing.

    The work on Weedons Road/ Levi Road will be finished in about a week’s time when access to Rolleston will reopen, reducing volumes on the motorway south of Weedons interchange and alleviating the current queuing.

    The Weedons Road southbound off-ramp will open temporarily during weekday evening peak, to help ease queuing on the motorway into Rolleston. A single lane on Weedons Road will be open and stop/go traffic management in place. Please take it quietly and be prepared to stop. We appreciate your patience during the final stages of construction of the CSM2 project.

  •   Why were areas of old concrete road removed?

    The philosophy we apply to major infrastructure projects is to do it once and do it right. The joints in the concrete had caused reflective cracking in the original road resulting in waterproofing issues, a concern that would continue with the new pavement. Also, the concrete was not at the same line and level as the new road. Over the long-term this would cause problems with the new pavement. It was not possible to adjust the new design to match the concrete level. Where the concrete is deep enough under the new road it was left in place. Furthermore, the material under the concrete was of variable quality, where it was relatively shallow compared to the level of the new road, this would also have caused long-term problems.

  •   What was done to minimise construction effects?

    It is the job of the contractor building the motorway to ensure construction and related environmental effects are dealt with in compliance with consent conditions. They are required to have plans outlining how they will deal with:

    • temporary traffic management
    • noise and vibration
    • dust management
    • existing soil contamination
    • erosion and sediment control
    • aquifer protection
    • accidental discovery (heritage and cultural).

Planning, design and consultation

  •   What's next for the southern corridor and Rolleston?

    Planning is underway on the Rolleston Transport Improvements Project. Around mid-2021, initial plans for intersection safety upgrades (between Rolleston Drive North and Walkers Road/Dunns Crossing), rail corridor improvements and a multi-modal flyover (between Rolleston Drive and Hoskyns Road) will be shared with the community for feedback. More regular updates on the project will commence soon.

    The project has been allocated $60M funding by the Government as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which is investing $6.8 billion to get our cities and regions moving, save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. Construction work is expected to start in 2024 and continue through to 2026. The project is part of the wider 30-year programme of transport improvements planned for the Rolleston area. More information on the NZ Upgrade funded work which will be included in the Rolleston Transport Improvements Project can be found on the Canterbury package page.

    Canterbury package

  •   What will the final motorway look like?

    It will look similar to Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1. The motorway has two lanes in each direction, separated by a central median with a wire rope safety barrier. There will be no direct access from private properties onto the motorway. Landscaping for the project is designed to complement the existing environment and similar to the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1 landscaping, while acknowledging the generally rural environment of CSM2. The project has a gently curving alignment open to views of the Southern Alps and Port Hills.

    View a drive-over animation(external link)

  •   What are the benefits of the project?

    The project provides better access in and out of Christchurch and this will in turn improve the economic well-being of the Canterbury Region and the wider South Island.

    Planned growth in the Selwyn District (such as the Izone industrial park, and Rolleston) requires improved access to the Christchurch CBD, key employment centres and Lyttelton Port.

    Without the project, traffic on Main South Road would have doubled in the next 15 years, making access and crossing Main South Road very difficult and unsafe. The project will halve travel time between Rolleston and Christchurch at peak-times (from around 30 down to about 15 minutes). We also expect a 40% reduction in fatal and serious crashes.

    The project reduces the high traffic volumes on State Highway 1 (Main South Road) through Templeton by separating local traffic from traffic heading to Lyttelton Port and the central city. There will be 2000 fewer trucks a day.

    Less traffic travelling through local communities is also expected to improve accessibility and reduce noise, vibration and other potential effects from large volumes of traffic. The resulting improved highway and roading network will allow passenger transport to operate safely and more efficiently on Main South Road and Springs Road. Reduced traffic on many local roads will also improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and allow the local councils to implement their own improved cycle strategies.

    The project benefits employment opportunities, both during construction and as a result of improved access. It is also playing a positive role in Canterbury’s earthquake recovery.

    Hornby is one of the key industrial areas of Christchurch and the present (and future) congestion on roads in this area, such as Halswell Junction Road, means access for businesses in this area is difficult and inefficient. The project improves economic productivity through reduced transport times and costs. 

  •   How was the alignment for the new motorway chosen?

    The alignment extends from Halswell Junction Road, pass to the south of Marshs Road and joins Main South Road (SH1) near Robinsons Road. The chosen alignment was located almost entirely within the original study corridor. We listened to the community feedback and where the route nears Prebbleton and Aberdeen, we positioned the motorway as far to the north as we can – this can be viewed on the alignment options since October 2010 and more information is available on the consultation page.

    Consultation page(external link)

    After the first round of consultation held in October – December 2010, we continued to investigate alignments for the new section of motorway, taking into account the feedback received from the community. Many respondents wanted us to investigate a more northerly option. In response to this feedback, we drew up an alternative alignment that passed to the north of the intersection of Marshs and Shands Road. This alignment option was assessed alongside the 'best fit' option of the alignments originally identified in the October 2010 newsletter.

    Using the standard environmental and engineering assessments there was little to separate the alignment options. In the end our selection was based on two main factors; potential future land use and land cost.

    The northerly option was significantly more expensive as well as having a greater impact on the development of future industrial and business land identified in the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy. For these reasons we chose an alignment within the study corridor as proposed in October 2010.

  •   What provisions are there for cyclists and pedestrians?

    Pedestrians and cyclists have access to a combination of new shared paths and local road connections.

    Traffic moving onto the new section of motorway will reduce the number of vehicles on Main South Road through to Templeton and on other local roads, making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians in these areas.

    There is a new shared path along Jones Road between Curraghs and Dawsons Roads. Another new section links Weedons Road through to the existing path adjacent to Main South Road, north of Rolleston.

    A 1.5m-wide shoulder is provided on all local road bridges and underpasses created as part of the CSM2 project.

    The new shared path is now open, linking the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway shared path with the Little River Rail Trail.

    We have worked closely with Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council to improve the local cycle network where practicable.

    Cycle connectivity video(external link)

  •   What facilities are there for public transport?

    Additional lanes on SH1 and less traffic through local areas will reduce congestion and increase opportunities for bus priority to improve service reliability.

  •   Are you planning roundabouts at Jones Road/Dawsons Road intersection, or Jones Road/ Curraghs Road?

    The scope of the CSM2 project does not include roundabouts at these two intersections. Rather, we are upgrading these intersections with some kerbing and traffic islands to make the intersections more visible and safe. The design for this work has been agreed with the Selwyn District Council.

  •   What consultation has been done with the public for the project?

    For more information on this please visit the Consultation page.

  •   Why was a section of the Main South Road (SH1) widened as part of this project?

    The four-laning of Main South Road (SH1) was essential because of the planned growth in Selwyn District (the Izone Industrial Park and Rolleston in particular) and the resulting growth in traffic. Four-laning provides efficient access to Christchurch from the south, reducing potential bottleneck delays that could occur, where the four-laned Christchurch Southern Motorway joins the existing two-lane SH1. Four-laning also increases safety for all highway users.

  •   How did Waka Kotahi purchase properties needed for the project?

    Waka Kotahi negotiates on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis to purchase property at market value. We pay for a valuation as well as any legal fees involved in the transaction and also contribute to removal costs.

    Waka Kotahi purchases land through an independent agent to ensure transparency and fairness. Compensation for directly affected landowners and occupiers are provided under the Public Works Act. Further details of this process are available in the publication Landowner's rights – when the Crown requires your land for a public work, available from Land Information New Zealand.

  •   What is a grade-separated interchange?

    A grade-separated interchange is where one road remains at ground level (at grade) while the other road passes over (or under) via a bridge (or in a trench) with on and off-ramps. This type of intersection allows drivers to turn left and right or go straight on from any direction. (And usually allows traffic driving straight on along the main road to continue uninterrupted.) Shands Road Interchange and Weedons Road Interchange are grade-separated interchanges.

  •   How will road noise be addressed when complete?

    Low-noise asphalt will be used along the majority of the new motorway. This is a quieter surface than chip-seal. Noise reducing fences are in use in some specific locations.

  •   What measures are proposed to prevent light spilling onto residential properties?

    Lighting has been designed to standard and to reduce light spill. Similar to lighting on the Christchurch Northern Motorway. Lighting is installed at intersections, interchanges and on/off ramps for safety reasons. The lighting is designed to limit the amount of glare spilling onto surrounding areas.

  •   How were effects on terrestrial ecology managed?

    The project will result in minor loss of habitat for bird and lizard populations. Experts believe the birds will easily adapt and move to similar habitats nearby. We have designed new habitats along the motorway for lizards to minimise any adverse effect.

  •   How were cultural effects managed?

    A Cultural Advisory Group (CAG) was set up, with help from Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd (MKT), to obtain input from local rūnanga (groups) during development of final designs. The input was taken on board and incorporated in the project planning documents and consenting conditions

  •   What happens to stormwater?

    Rainfall running off the road is collected in a stormwater system made up of mainly swales (wide grassed channels) and basins. This system is designed to treat the water through natural processes minimising the impact on the local environment. The use of pipes was minimised to increase the potential for soakage into the ground where appropriate.

  •   How does this project affect local roads?

    We expect an overall reduction in traffic on the surrounding network once the motorway is constructed. However, traffic on some roads (arterial road connecting to the highway) may well increase. We are working with Selwyn District Council to see where we can minimise potential negative effects on local roads.

  •   What about stock-water races?

    The project design includes places where stock water races is piped under the motorway. The disruption to the supply in the stock water races will be minimised by working closely with the Selwyn District Council and existing users.

  •   How can people be kept up to date with what is happening on this project?

    Newsletters are distributed as required and people can keep up to date with project developments through this website.