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Ashburton community consulted on intersection upgrade

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The NZ Transport Agency is asking the Ashburton community for its feedback on proposed changes to the Walnut Avenue intersection with State Highway 1.

From this Monday (22 July), the community will be asked for their comments on the proposed removal of the roundabout at the intersection with West Street (State Highway 1) and installation of traffic lights, and the long-term upgrade of the roundabout on Walnut Avenue at the intersection East Street. This most likely to be the installation of traffic lights.

The Transport Agency's Highway Manager Christchurch Colin Knaggs says an increase in traffic volumes along the state highway and Walnut Avenue is creating congestion at the two intersections and having an impact on safety with vehicles queuing.

"The proposed replacement of the roundabout with traffic lights will enable better control of traffic flows along both the state highway and Walnut Avenue, as well as improving safety at the railway crossing and for pedestrians and cyclists."

The Transport Agency first consulted the community on the preliminary designs to upgrade the Walnut Avenue intersection in 2006. The project was then put on hold.

"We are now looking to progress this project and while the scope of the project is largely unchanged, it is important the community is able to comment on the detailed proposal before the design is finalised and lodged for consenting."

Mayor Angus McKay says it is good to see progress being made on this project which will not only help to improve traffic flows through and around Ashburton, but will make both intersections a lot safer for all road users.

"This is a partnership project with the Transport Agency and it is important the community provides its feedback on what is proposed to ensure we get the best outcome for the town."

He says from the feedback process, the Council is particularly interested in the options for access to the Domain.

It is proposed to begin installation in 2015, subject to consenting, land purchase and funding.

Public consultation is from this Monday 22 July to 9 August 2013.

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