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Christchurch Northern Corridor opening planned for December 2020

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The Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) $290 million motorway project between Cranford St and Waimakariri District has moved its opening date from mid this year to the end of 2020.

“A number of additions to this project as well as a re-evaluation of ground settlement times mean that we need to allow more time for completion,” says Colin MacKay, Portfolio Manager Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, part of the CNC Alliance.

The additional items not included in the original scope include the third southbound (carpool) lane on the Waimakariri River bridge and the clip-on cycleway. Longer settlement periods were also needed on the motorway alignment across the greenfields areas through northern St Albans, Redwood and Belfast.

“The CNC Alliance expects to open the motorway from the Waimakariri River Bridge to Cranford Street, including the Tram Road and CNC carpool lanes, just before Christmas this year,” says Mr MacKay.

The local road upgrades on QEII Drive and Cranford Street (north of Innes Road, including an upgrade to the Innes Road/ Cranford St intersection currently underway), plus the new bridges at Belfast, Radcliffe and Prestons Roads are progressing well, he says.

“These local street upgrades will be well completed ahead of the motorway opening, which will also be helpful for the communities which have been most affected by the motorway construction.”

How the motorway opening date affects the work programme

Due to longer ground settlement times than anticipated, motorway sealing will now occur in spring/ early summer 2020, not autumn.

The additional work for the carpool lanes and northern cycleway connections will be completed in parallel with the final sealing work for the motorway, so they will all be ready to open at the same time.

“Changing the opening date requires no extra budget for the materials and construction and a smaller project team will stay in the office at Winters Road to complete the work,” says Mr MacKay.

“We thank everyone who is affected by this project for their patience as we ensure that we build a quality, long-lasting, resilient road which will benefit Greater Christchurch for many years,” he says.

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