The NZ Transport Agency has awarded a contract for a pivotal piece of highway work in Queenstown which will help free up traffic flows in and out of the thriving town centre.
“The contract for the first stage of improvements on Queenstown’s State Highway 6, from Grant Road to Kawarau Falls, has been awarded to Downer New Zealand Limited,” says Transport Agency Southern Business Unit Manager Ian Duncan.
Stage 1 work concentrates on improving the efficiency of the existing intersection of State Highway 6 with State Highway 6A, locally known as the BP roundabout. It is due to be completed at the end of March 2017.
“Preparatory work will be underway prior to Christmas but given the need to keep the roundabout functioning smoothly over the busy summer holiday period, Downer’s Queenstown team will ensure the worksite is left safe for the period with no restriction on the traffic lanes and no reduction in parking. They have the work programmed to be completed by the end of March, well ahead of the ski season,” says Mr Duncan.
As part of the contract, the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s water main in Frankton Road will be upgraded, just one of the infrastructure improvements in Queenstown reflecting the growth in population and in the local economy.
The total value of the project is $1.36 million of which $0.6 million is the district council’s water main component.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor, Jim Boult, is pleased to see progress on this part of the Queenstown road network.
“The BP Roundabout is an obvious pinch point in Queenstown’s network and it’s a relief to see the contract awarded for this important project. Queenstown and the rest of our region is experiencing strong sustained growth at present and it’s encouraging to see the Transport Agency looking at long term solutions for our district. While Stage 1 of the BP Roundabout is just the first part of a larger project, we’re expecting some quick wins in time for next year’s ski season which will benefit both residents and visitors alike. This is however, an early step in a larger project.”
The work will increase the traffic capacity of the roundabout at the intersection of State highways 6 and 6A. Two circulating traffic lanes will extend around the majority of the existing roundabout and a second departure lane will be added towards Queenstown.
“People should see a marked improvement with reduced congestion in the afternoon peak traffic period,” says Mr Duncan.
Stage 2 of the improvements to State Highway 6 from Grant Road to Kawarau Falls is being developed through the Transport Agency’s Business Case process which will examine all the options and the integration with walking, cycling and public transport, Mr Duncan says.