Project introduction

The New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is delivering improvements to SH6 and SH6A to support and efficient and reliable transport network to address growth in Queenstown.

About the project

Unlocking Queenstown’s most important intersection

We all know that the State Highway 6/6A intersection in Frankton (BP roundabout) is at capacity at peak travel times, and something needs to be done to make it easier for people to drive, walk, cycle, and for buses to move around the area. The remaining works for the Queenstown Package which include bus lanes, intersection upgrades such as traffic signals, marina access improvements and walking and cycling enhancements along the State Highway 6 and 6A corridors are being designed, and construction of these works will progress when funding is confirmed

We have prioritised construction of the works in Frankton which include installing traffic signals at the SH6 and SH6A Frankton intersection and adjacent SH6/Hansen Road/Joe O’Connell Drive intersection, extending the Bus Hub and adding traffic signals at the entry and exit to make that movement easier for buses. We will also be constructing new bus stops, adding cycle lanes, and creating shared use paths. While we are completing this work, we need to move some underground services. We are also building a roundabout at the SH6 and Howards Drive intersection.

The works are being delivered for Waka Kotahi as a Road of Regional Significance project via the Kā Huanui a Tāhuna Alliance in partnership with Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Designs for the works are being finalised now, with construction starting in April 2024.

  • It’s going be better, but it is going to take time

    There is a significant amount of work to do, and construction is expected to take four years to complete.

    We know this is a long time and that road works are frustrating. Several factors have influenced this timeframe:

    The first 18 months is moving underground utilities (power, water, fibre, and gas), tree removal, and installation of a large stormwater pipe. There will be minimal disruption to the state highways and the Frankton intersection during that time.

    • The SH6/6A Frankton intersection is an important connection point for the whole Queenstown area and beyond. We must keep the intersection functioning and maintain one way traffic flow in each direction during construction of the new intersection layout. There is no viable detour route that can be used to complete the works faster - Arthurs Point is a long detour with a single lane bridge already subject to some congestion and with icy conditions and downhill approaches in the winter, as well as being the main road to Coronet Peak ski-field which gets busy during ski season. While locals may feel comfortable using this route, it is not suitable for tourists or those unfamiliar with the roads.
      The Hawthorne Drive/Lucas Place detour route has been considered and tested in March last year, when the SH6/ 6A intersection was shut down for three consecutive nights.  While this was successful and remains an option for limited night work situations, it would add a further 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles per day onto what is an already busy route and would be very disruptive to the Remarkables Park commercial centre and other businesses on that route.
      The Ross Street/McBride Street detour route was also considered; however, these are relatively narrow residential streets. Frankton Road carries between 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles a day, so even a partial daytime detour of traffic via this route would be un-manageable and create further disruption to those living in the area.
    • There is a limited construction season, and it is not possible to surface or construct road pavements during the winter season from May to August. This surfacing constraint is standard for the winter in New Zealand, however, the restriction on pavement construction is unique to the South Island/ Queenstown Lakes area due to the local climate and freezing and thawing of the pavement.
    • It is important to remember that there will not be significant effects on the state highway for the first 18 months of this programme.
    • Night works are limited at the SH6/ 6A Frankton roundabout and surrounding area because the impacts of continuous night works would adversely affect residents and businesses. There are also other constraints such as restricted hours of work and cost that make nightworks impractical. Some short periods of nightwork will be required for specific activities which cannot be completed during the day to keep the traffic moving at the intersection.  Adjacent residents, road users and the wider community will be notified and kept up to date with planned night works in advance of these occurring.
    • Moving underground utilities (power, water, fibre, and gas) as part of this project forms a large part of the first year of the construction programme. This upgrade work is being done at the same time to avoid further roadworks in the future
  • Key project features
    • The SH6/6A Frankton roundabout will become an intersection controlled by traffic signals. The new intersection layout has been designed to manage the needs of everyone who use this intersection.
    • A roundabout will be constructed at the Howards Drive and SH6 intersection. Safety concerns have seen this T-intersection prioritised because the speed through this area is higher and is currently controlled by a give way sign.
    • We are undergrounding overhead power lines in the Gray/McBride intersection area. We are also moving services such as fibre and gas from under that intersection
    • Gray street will become one way from McBride Street to the state highway. This takes out the right turn movements both into and out of Gray Street that can cause a pinch point and create added congestion.
    • The golf course entrance is being moved further south along SH6 Kawarau Road and will be signalised to provide a safer and easier access from the state highway. A new driveway and parking area will be built for the golf course.
    • The bus hub capacity will be doubled (extending down SH6 Kawarau Road) to cater for predicted growth in public transport passenger numbers.
    • The golf course side of the Bus Hub will see changes to accommodate more buses and pickup for ski bus operators, bus stops will be made larger, and two new larger shelters will be installed.
    • Traffic signals at the entry and exit to the hub will be installed to provide more efficient access for buses.

Project partners

This is a partnership between Waka Kotahi, Queenstown Lakes District Council and four design and construction companies, Beca, WSP, Downer New Zealand and Fulton Hogan. The partnership has been set up as an alliance model and has been gifted a name by Iwi Kā Huanui a Tāhuna.

logo nzup queenstown package

Project maps

SH6 Frankton corridor improvements - SH6/SH6A intersection to Humphrey Street

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 SH6 Queenstown Frankton Road intersection map

View larger map [PDF, 59 KB]