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State Highway 73-Opawa Road construction underway

Press release
4 July 2005

State Highway 73-Opawa Road construction underway

A new two-lane road from the Opawa-Garlands roads intersection to the south of Opawa-Curries roads intersection is being built, turning the old roadway into a service lane which reduces access points onto the new road

This service lane will be separated from the main roadway by a median island much like parts of Blenheim Road.. The City Council and Transit New Zealand, joint partners in the project, say current and predicted traffic volumes do not justify turning the stretch into a four-lane roadway for about 20 years.

The new roadway to the east, alongside the existing road, will replace the old section of Opawa Road between these points. A painted flush median will run along the entire length of the new Opawa Road section with four pedestrian refuge islands to provide safer crossing.

The new two-lane part of the works will be open to traffic by the end of September, then work on the service lane will begin. Indented bus bays will ensure that buses do not stop in cycle and traffic lanes when picking up or dropping off passengers. A recessed parking bay with a 10-minute parking restriction will be installed outside the dairy at the corner of Grange Street.

The proposed service lane will be divided into four sections to allow access through intersections and provide entrance and exit points to existing properties.

Landscaping proposed for the new Opawa Road section includes a formal avenue of scarlet oaks along the grassed median island. In wide areas at the end of the service lanes will be groves of poplars, in keeping with existing planting from the Brougham Street upgrade.

Contractor City Care was awarded the $2.44 million contract, which started in April, 2005. Work is progressing well and is hoped to be completed in December, 2005.


For some years, Opawa Road residents have voiced concerns about increasing traffic volumes, particularly heavy traffic, which causes congestion, greater vibration, increased noise and air pollution and difficulties in accessing their properties.

Over the years, the Council and Transit New Zealand have bought up properties on the east side of this section of Opawa Road as part of long-term plans:
„h to alleviate problems highlighted by residents and
„h to provide a purpose-built roadway to accommodate heavy vehicle demand on this State Highway route providing access to industrial areas and to the Port of Lyttelton
„h to accommodate other road users such as cyclists, public transport and pedestrians.

Opawa Road is part of the State Highway network in Christchurch so this project is being jointly funded by the City Council and Transit New Zealand.


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