Ashburton residents invited to open day


Ashburton residents are being invited to attend next week's drop-in sessions to learn more about the proposed improvements on State Highway 1 at the intersection with Walnut Avenue.

An increase in traffic volumes along the state highway and Walnut Avenue is creating congestion at the intersection and having an impact on safety for all road users with vehicles queuing.

It is proposed to remove the roundabout at the intersection with West Street (State Highway 1) and install traffic lights, and longer term to also upgrade the roundabout on Walnut Avenue at the intersection with East Street, most likely replacing it with traffic lights.

The NZ Transport Agency's Highway Manager Christchurch Colin Knaggs says two drop-in sessions are being held on Tuesday 6 August at the Domain Pavilion for the community to meet with the project team and discuss any aspect of the proposal.

"These sessions are from noon to 2.30pm and 5pm to 7.30pm. All residents are encouraged to come along and find out more about what is happening and provide feedback on what is proposed. This feedback is important to ensure we get the best solution for the two intersections."

He says 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 preliminary designs to upgrade the Walnut Avenue intersection back 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."

It is proposed the work will get underway in 2015 subject to consenting, land purchase and funding.