Queenstown drivers will notice a change in the road markings on the main state highway Frankton-Ladies Mile from Stalker Road down to the Shotover bridge, probably from this Saturday morning, 10 October.
So long as the weather remains dry, NZ Transport Agency contractors will arrive first thing Saturday morning at 6 am, apply the new yellow, no passing centreline and black out the existing markings. The following day the old road markings will be permanently sandblasted away.
Traffic management will be in place while this work is happening with cones and a temporary, slow speed limit to protect road workers. The Transport Agency thanks all road users for taking care and slowing down.
There should be minimal delays to traffic given the weekend timing and off-peak hours.
The new, yellow centreline will be separated by a metre of unmarked road. While it results in the removal of the Shotover Cutting passing lane, a wide shoulder (the paved edge of the road) will remain so that slower drivers will be able to allow others to pass.
Drivers cannot overtake in the area with the yellow centreline. The no-passing rule is the same as for traditional yellow no-passing lines.
This change is being implemented to improve vehicle separation and increase safety between oncoming lanes of traffic. The change will also tie into the upcoming connection of the new Shotover Country roundabout with the state highway.
Wide centrelines have been used successfully in a number of other places around the country in recent years as a way to improve safety for road users. (See link(external link) and examples of how it is used in other parts of New Zealand.)
In coming months, the same wide, yellow centreline will be installed on the Glenda Drive side of the Shotover bridge as part of the Glenda Drive Project. Again, this is to improve vehicle separation, reduce the likelihood of head-on crashes and increase safety between oncoming lanes of traffic.