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Traffic travel times through road works reducing

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Traffic travel times through road works reducing as anticipated

Traffic congestion in the central city is improving today after new road works caused significant delays on Monday.

John Mackie, Unit Manager of Transport and Greenspace says, "Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) statistics today shows travel times at peak hours this morning across the city were 20-50 per cent lower than travel times on Monday morning. The pattern when new road work sites open is for the first three days to be the worse, with drivers working out alternative routes by days two and three."

Two new Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) work sites yesterday increased congestion at peak periods on the city's one-way streets, but the situation is improving.

Monday's congestion was worse in the morning on southbound Durham St with traffic backed up to Bealey Ave from the work site near the river. Work in the Victoria/Montreal/Salisbury intersection also created delays on the city's northbound route in the evening peak hours.

Data reports back from Metro buses show 45 minute-plus journeys south on Durham St from Bealey Ave yesterday morning reducing to 30 minutes or lesser periods today.

Council and Christchurch Transport Operations Centre traffic managers are continuing to monitor journey times and encourage people to travel outside the peaks when possible or via the central city's perimeters - Fitzgerald, Moorhouse, Bealey, Harper and Deans Aves.

"This is a critical phase for SCIRT's infrastructure projects in the central city. Council and SCIRT have been talking about the ramp-up required in the central city for some time.

"SCIRT has to keep ahead of the wider city rebuild activity so that work is not held up. At times these cross-town routes will be slower than we would like, but we know from previous work on Durham St that over a few days people do adapt and find other ways and routes to get to and from work," said Mr Mackie.

* The central city SCIRT infrastructure repairs started 18 months ago and are now 52% complete. Most of SCIRT's central city work will be completed in 2014 with structural repairs on bridges taking into mid 2015.

* SCIRT's central city projects total $150 million and include 15 city bridges/ footbridges, five which involve major repairs, 65 km of wastewater pipes, 45 km of road repair and 14 km of full road rebuild.

* The work in the Montreal St/ Victoria St intersection is scheduled to take a month and is the last stage of major wastewater connections in this part of the city. Roading, storm water and fresh water projects, which are much less disruptive of traffic lanes than deep wastewater pipe repairs, will complete SCIRT's work in the north west central city quadrant this year.

* Durham Street work, two separate sites, is a three month project.

- Ends -

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