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Safety key feature of Transit SH plan for regions

Wellington Regional Office
Media Release

30 June 2004

Safety key feature of Transit SH plan for regions

Two large projects that will improve the efficiency of key parts of the state highway network and a number of safety improvements are the major features of Transit New Zealand’s 10-year plan for the Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman regions, released today.

Transit regional manager Brian Hasell said the most significant project in the 10-year plan was the construction of the Awatere Bridge on State Highway 1 north of Seddon.

“The Awatere Bridge project involves replacement of an existing narrow, one-lane bridge on a railway structure north of Seddon, with a new two-lane bridge with realigned approaches. The existing bridge provides a very low standard of service to road users, especially heavy vehicles, and cannot be used by over-sized loads. The design is progressing with construction planned to commence in 2006/07,” he said.

In Tasman District, the SH60: Ruby Bay Bypass now falls inside the 10-year plan, with a planned construction date of 2013/14. There is also the possibility that SH6: Hope Saddle Realignment and SH6: Whangamoa South Realignment could be advanced with regional distribution funding, Mr Hasell said.

Transit’s plan includes at least $250 million for maintaining and improving state highways in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough districts over the next 10 years, with $21 million approved for 2004/05. Large projects (with a construction cost over $3 million) have been planned over 10 years while small and medium-sized projects (with a construction cost of less than $3 million) have been planned over three 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,” he said.

Mr Hasell said substantial improvements have been made to the state highway network in the regions, especially in Nelson city and Tasman district and, generally, state highways were of a high standard.

“There are, nevertheless, a few sections of rural highway which require upgrading including realignments on SH6 north of the Rai Saddle and west of Murchison. Transit also plans to improve the McGlashen Avenue Intersection on SH6 in Richmond and the Lodder Lane Intersection on SH6 north of Motueka.”

In addition, in Marlborough seven passing lanes are to be constructed, or are already under construction on SH1. This is being done, Mr Hasell said, as the terrain on SH1 both north and south of Blenheim restricts the opportunity for passing, “leading to driver frustration and accidents”.

By the end of the 2007/08 financial year, Transit plans to have completed stock effluent disposal facilities at Richmond and Murchison. Walking and cycling projects on the eastern approach to Nelson are also a focus.

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), Mr Hasell said, with all large project proposals reviewed to ensure integrated solutions that fitted with the region’s local authority plans and that the benefits of the plans were sustainable.

Major features of the plan are:

• Awatere Bridge Replacement on SH1, for a construction start in 2006/07
• five more passing lanes on SH1 between Picton and Blenheim, and south of Blenheim in Marlborough, for construction in the next three years
• three rural realignments and one seal widening project in Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman, for construction in the next three years
• two intersection improvements in Richmond and north of Motueka, for construction in the next three years, and development of improvements to the Tahunanui and McGlashen Avenue intersections in Nelson and Richmond, respectively
• two stock effluent disposal facilities at Richmond and Murchison, for construction in the next three years.


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