New Christchurch Southern Motorway overbridge opens thisweek


Christchurch motorists will be able to use the new Awatea Road/Dunbars Road link, the first of four overbridges on Stage 1 of the new Christchurch Southern Motorway, from this Wednesday (30 November).

Work on the new Christchurch Southern Motorway started in February 2010 and is due to be completed on schedule in early 2013. The new four-lane median-separated motorway between the Brougham Street/Collins Street intersection and Halswell Junction Road, will provide a safer more efficient and reliable route between Central Christchurch, the Port of Lyttelton and the southwest of the City.

The project has been identified by Government as one of seven Roads of National Significance, key to enabling New Zealand’s economic growth.

NZTA Regional State Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says the Awatea Rd / DunbarsRoad link will allow motorists to drive from Awatea Road into Dunbars Road and vice versa over the future motorway.  Access for Wigram Rd traffic will be via new T-intersections 'Give Ways’ on either side of the bridge. 

“Since January drivers have been using a detour around Carrs Road while this bridge was built and we thank them for their patience. Once the Awatea Rd/ Dunbars Rd link is operating Carrs Road will be permanently closed and end as cul-de-sacs on both sides of the motorway.”

Mr Knaggs says that by the end of the year traffic will be moved onto the new Curletts Rd carriageway, the final surfacing and road marking of Halswell Junction Rd between Main South Rd and Shands Rd will be completed and traffic signals at the Halswell Junction Rd / Shands Rd intersection commissioned.

Two further bridging milestones are looming, with beams being placed on the Wrights Rd Bridge prior to Christmas followed by the Lincoln Rd Bridge early in the New Year.

The Christchurch Southern Motorway site closes for the Christmas-New Year break on Friday 23rd December 2011, although crews will be on-hand over this period for any traffic control and general site management issues including dust control.  Work resumes at Lincoln Rd and Wrights Rd on the 3rd January 2012 with a full site restart on 9th January 2012.  

Editor’s notes

The Government has identified seven essential state highway projects linked to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments and is a key part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan and Government’s Policy Statement for transport.

The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are: Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1, Completing the Western Ring Route, Auckland - SH16, SH18 and SH20, Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1, Waikato Expressway - SH1, Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2, Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1, Christchurch Motorways.