Bluebird day in Waitaha/Canterbury for blessing and sod turning


The first sods were turned on the Tinwald safety improvements project just south of Ashburton this morning, a bluebird day in Waitaha/Canterbury.

The project is the third of three Canterbury rural intersections being upgraded to improve safety and accessibility for communities. The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project is funded through the Government’s NZ Upgrade Programme.

Fulton Hogan won the construction contract for the Tinwald SH1 intersection  upgrade, which includes work around the main trunk rail line with KiwiRail, and is expected to take around 10 months.

MP for Rangitata, Hon Jo Luxton said the new traffic signals will help create gaps in the traffic for people to safely cross the highway whether in cars, on bikes, scooters or on foot.

“The aim of the project is to make it safer and easier to get on and off the highway, especially at peak travel times, and to cross between the west and east residential areas of Tinwald.”

  • The project will include a flush median strip on the highway, as well as a right turn bay for easier, safer access.
  • The rail crossing near the intersection will be upgraded to prevent drivers queuing across the tracks.

Ashburton Deputy Mayor Liz McMillan said the project was part of a ground-breaking journey for Ashburton and Tinwald. “Our roads are the lifeblood of our district,” she said, and they were a key driver of growth and prosperity.

She thanked the community for their feedback, advocacy and embracing change attitude towards a more sustainable future. She also noted the collaborative effort behind projects like this one with Waka Kotahi, KiwiRail, the engineering team, stakeholders and the community involvement.

Tewera King, Upoko Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua and Te Rūnanga o Waihao, blessed the site ahead of the turning of the ground near the railway line on Melcombe St.

  • Background to date for this third rural intersection project in Canterbury (West Melton, Selwyn District and Walnut Ave, Ashburton District traffic signals/upgrades both largely completed).

SH1 Tinwald Corridor Improvements