The new $4.6 million on-and-off ramps for Christchurch’s Northern Motorway at the Lineside Road (State Highway 71)/Smith Street interchange, near Kaiapoi, were officially opened today (26 February).
Today’s opening of the ramps, attended by Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson, Mayor of Waimakariri David Ayers and the NZ Transport Agency’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland, provides local residents and motorists with better access to and from the motorway and improves safety for all road users.
The ramps were jointly funded by the Transport Agency, the Waimakariri District Council and private development company Clampett Investments Ltd.
Mr Harland says the interchange improvements will provide easy access to and from Kaiapoi and help reduce the number of traffic movements at Pineacres where vehicles travelling north have to cross in front of high volumes of on-coming traffic travelling at speeds of 100km/h.
“The new road layout and traffic signals on the Lineside Road (SH71)/Smith Street interchange will make it safer for traffic to exit and enter the motorway, as well as improving cyclist safety along Lineside Road,” he says.
Planning for the project began almost five years ago, in conjunction with a review of the Pineacres intersection and ways to improve safety along this stretch of the state highway by improving access to the motorway
Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson says completion of the new on-and-off ramps for the Northern Motorway at the Lineside Road interchange is exciting and will have Kaiapoi retailers celebrating.
“I am pleased the Transport Agency listened to the concerns and issues of our local community in bringing this project forward and that they appreciated the importance of it to Kaiapoi in particular.
“The new off-ramp from the north will provide Kaiapoi with a clearly defined gateway that will encourage visitors into the town. Whether they stop for a meal or to have a look around, it will divert some of that spending money into the tills of Kaiapoi retailers,” Ms Wilkinson says.
“The new access ramps will also alleviate pressure at the Pineacres intersection – something that Kaiapoi residents have been concerned about for a number of years.”
Mayor of Waimakariri David Ayers says the Council took the unusual step of contributing to a state highway project because it saw the new ramps as a way of improving access to and from the Kaiapoi town centre from State Highway 1.
“Central Kaiapoi was badly damaged by the September 2010 earthquake and this much-improved access was seen as a way of encouraging passing traffic into the centre of Kaiapoi.”
He says the Council welcomes this major improvement and its connections within the district.
Local developers Mark Revis and Jedd Pearce say their contribution to the public private partnership was an important part of creating strong foundations on which to rebuild the great historic river town of Kaiapoi.
“The on and off ramps provide numerous advantages for Kaiapoi and the Waimakariri district: a safer alternative route to Pineacres; a great new gateway to Kaiapoi; accessibility to Kaiapoi’s town centre which is better for business; and improved infrastructure and transport routes to support new business into Kaiapoi, along with job creation and economic growth within the Waimakariri district.”
For further information:
Christchurch Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
Ph: 021 427 442
Waimakariri District Council
Ph: 021 241 5388