Finish line in sight for major Dunedin safety project


State highway 1 (SH1) Caversham Valley safety improvement project in Dunedin is on track for completion in mid-2015.

A computer generated image of the new Riselaw Road Bridge.

A computer generated image of the new Riselaw Road Bridge.

This is later than planned, after ground issues were encountered last August, mainly in the area of the new Riselaw Bridge at Lookout Point.

These problems involving soft soils over a hidden non-active fault-line forced a complete change in the project design that pushed the completion date out from the December 2014, to June this year.  

This is a two stage project. Stage 1 completed in October 2012, involved four-laning the SH 1 Caversham by-pass between the King Edward Street over bridge and Barnes Drive. Stage 2 from Barnes Drive to Lookout Point, got underway in November 2012.

Project Manager Simon Underwood says a major feature of Stage 2 of this project is a new two-lane bridge over SH1 at Lookout Point. With 6.5 metres of clearance over the highway, there is plenty of room for large over dimension loads such as machinery and houses, to comfortably pass under the bridge, rather than having to travel through nearby residential areas.

“The new bridge also lets drivers safely cross the highway at Lookout Point or make left turns to and from it. Pedestrians and cyclists are looked after as well, with a path linking South Road and Riselaw Road.” 

While the project including the new bridge is due to open in mid-2015, final surfacing of the realigned highway will be done in the warmer spring months.

Simon says a lot is currently happening on site to get this project finished by the middle of this year. This includes completing the southbound traffic lanes up Caversham Valley Road, along with the traffic median islands.  Piling for the new Bridge is continuing, with three piles going under each bridge end abutment, with a further two beneath the central pier.

“At the same time, the northern embankment wall linking the Riselaw Road bridge is being progressively established.  This is being done in layers, with a wire/mesh grid between the layers, to provide and anchor to tie back the steeply sloping front face.” 

Simon says that in addition to the greatly improved safety and reduced travel times this project will deliver once completed, it will also create an attractive southern gateway entrance to Dunedin.