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Growth key issue for Canterbury state highways

Christchurch Regional Office
Media Release

30 June 2004

Traffic growth key issue for Canterbury state highways

Traffic growth on the main arterial routes within Christchurch city makes congestion in Christchurch one of the key regional transport issues addressed by Transit New Zealand’s 10-Year State Highway Plan for the Canterbury region, released today.

Growth is running at 4 percent per year and up to 8 percent per year on the recently declared state highway on the Christchurch Ring Road, said Transit’s Canterbury regional manager, Robin Odams.

The plan outlines Transit’s forecast for spending on new road projects and maintenance in the region for the 2004/05 financial year and the nine years that follow. Large projects have been planned over 10 years and small and medium-sized projects over three years.

“Transit’s plan includes at least $231 million to construct new state highway projects in Canterbury in the next 10 years, $23.9 million of which will be spent in 2004/05. A further $24.8 million will be spent on maintenance in 2004/05, with a total of at least $360 million for maintenance in the next 10 years.”

“Some of the projects outlined in the plan may be built faster and others added with additional funding we anticipate from a share of the regional distribution funding resulting from the Government’s December 2003 funding package, ‘Investing in Growth’ raised through an increase in petrol tax,” Mr Odams said.

Investigations into access improvements in the north of Christchurch city, further development of the Christchurch southern motorway duplication and extension, and the four-laning of SH1 west of the city are major features of the plan.

“Ongoing improvements are required to the state highway network in Christchurch city and in Waimakariri and Selwyn districts to support urban growth.”

Mr Odams said these improvements would complement the Regional Land Transport Strategy provisions to relieve congestion through a range of measures including promoting passenger transport, completion of improvements to the “ring route” system, and improved access from the north and south of the city.

The SH74 Main North Road Four-Laning (Stage 2) project is currently under construction. The SH73 Christchurch Southern Motorway Duplication and Extension project is planned for construction within the next 10 years, Mr Odams said.
Other improvements either under construction or recently completed include:
• Normanby Realignment on SH1 south of Timaru
• Omihi Passing Lanes on SH1 north of Amberley
• Hurunui Curves on SH7
• Omihi Twin Culverts Realignment and Passing Lane on SH1.

“Transit’s long-term plan is to four-lane Johns/Russley/Masham/Carmen Roads. This could happen within the next 10 years, depending on funding,” he said.

In the meantime, a number of intersection improvements on this route are being undertaken. These include:
• SH1 – Yaldhurst Road Intersection Signalisation
• SH1 – Buchanans Road Intersection Signalisation
• SH1 – Main South Road/Carmen Road Intersection Improvements at Hornby.

Mr Odams said Transit had retained the Northern Arterial, north of Queen Elizabeth II Drive, as a potential project.

“The timing of the Northern Arterial is likely to be dependent on the development of an effective local road network, south of QEII Drive, to feed the Northern Arterial. Likewise, the Western Belfast Bypass and four-laning of a section of Queen Elizabeth II Drive are included as potential projects for further investigation.”

Within Waimakariri District, there are long-term plans to complete the duplication of the Northern Motorway and construct a bypass of Woodend on SH1, and to four-lane SH71 to Rangiora. At this stage, no route has been determined for a bypass of Woodend, he said.

Within Selwyn district, the major long-term requirement identified by Transit is to four-lane SH1 between Christchurch and Rolleston, with an appropriate connection into Rolleston to serve the urban growth proposed for this area. This may also include the eventual further extension of the Southern Motorway to Main South Road.

Road safety is also highlighted as an important issue in the Canterbury region. A number of small and medium-sized safety proposals for construction over the next three years include rural realignments, guardrails and intersection improvements.
Another key safety improvement will be the further implementation of a strategy for the provision of stock effluent disposal facilities that has been agreed with local authorities in the region. Disposal facilities are almost complete at Tinwald and Glasnevin on SH1 and additional facilities at Kaikoura, Springfield and Pareora are included in the plan.

Passing lanes have been completed over the last year on SH1 at Waipapa and Winslow. Additional passing lanes are included in the 10-year plan to complete Transit’s current passing lane strategy for SH1 between Kekerengu and Timaru.

Consultation played an important role in the development of the plan within the context of the new Land Transport Management Act (passed in November 2003), said Mr Odams. All large project proposals have been reviewed to ensure integrated solutions that fitted with Canterbury’s local authority plans and that the benefits of the plans were sustainable, Mr Odams said.

Major features included in the Canterbury 10-year plan are:

• investigations into access improvements to the north of Christchurch city – the Northern Arterial and Western Belfast Bypass and the four-laning of a section of QEII drive
• safety improvements for construction in the next three years include:
o East/West Street Intersection in Ashburton
o South Street/SH1 Intersection in Ashburton
o Kerrytown Road Curve Realignment
• further development and construction of the Christchurch Southern Motorway duplication and extension and development of the four-laning of SH1 (Carmen/Russley Roads) west of the city
• three more stock effluent disposal sites at Pareora SH1, Kaikoura SH1 and Springfield SH73
• cycle facilities within Christchurch city and on the Jed, School and Boyle River bridges
• Construction of passing lanes at another 12 locations on SH1.


For further information go to: www.transit.govt.nz
Detailed maps and timing of projects are listed by region.

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