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Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1 opened

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport

14 December 2012 Media Statement

Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1 opened

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has today opened the South Island’s first Road of National Significance, the Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1.

The $140 million, eight kilometre four-lane motorway and 2.5 km upgrade of Halswell Junction Road, which runs between Collins Street and Halswell Junction Road and then along Halswell Junction Road, was completed within three years – ahead of schedule and on budget.

Mr Brownlee says this is a remarkable achievement given the damage and disruption caused to Christchurch during the last two years from earthquakes.

“This motorway will not only provide much needed extra capacity to cope with the rapid traffic growth experienced throughout the city, it will also enable the long-term growth of the region’s economy by reducing travel times and the costs of moving freight and people.”

Mr Brownlee says the $800 million Christchurch Roads of National Significance (RoNS) highway construction programme is the most ambitious ever seen in the South Island. The Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1 is the first to be completed of a package of roading projects that make up the RoNS programme in New Zealand’s second largest city.

“Over the next decade this programme will continue to create jobs, improve access to facilities and help to efficiently move the goods and services required for the city’s rebuild.

“The Christchurch Southern Motorway Stage 1 will provide a safer, more efficient and reliable route between the Central City, Lyttelton Port and south-west Christchurch, while at the same time helping alleviate traffic congestion in Hornby and Blenheim Road, and improving access to the industrial areas around Waterloo Road, Shands Road and Parkhouse Drive.”

Mr Brownlee says completion of Stage 1 is a significant milestone, and planning is well underway for Stage 2 which will extend the motorway 10km south from Halswell Junction Road to Waterholes Road, south of Templeton, and then continue along the Main South Road from Robinsons Road to north of Rolleston. Construction of Stage 2 is expected to start in about two years and will take up to three years to build.

“This work is a significant investment in the region’s infrastructure, as the Government works to build one network that meets New Zealand’s aspirations for economic growth, as well as social wellbeing by reducing traffic on local roads and improving pedestrian, cycling and public transport amenity.

“This will ensure residents have a range of travel choices.”

Mr Brownlee applauded the outstanding efforts of everyone involved in Stage 1 of the project.

“Everyone involved in this project should be proud of the work they have done to beat the odds to complete Stage 1 during some of the most difficult conditions to ever challenge a community.

“Completing this project ahead of schedule and on budget is an incredible feat.”

More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz

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