Safety and efficient improvements on West Coast Highways


Since last October West Coast State Highway projects worth nearly $7.0M have been finished, or are nearing completion, that will improve road safety, reduce travel times and enable freight to move more efficiently within the region.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says the largest of these was the new Arahura road-rail Bridge that opened last December several months ahead of schedule. A joint venture between Kiwirail and the NZTA it was one of the largest bridge projects on the New Zealand rail network in recent times.

Mr Knaggs said a project to improve safety at McKendries Corners on State Highway 7 near Greymouth involving corner easing, improving visibility for drivers and reducing the likelihood of significant slumping in the road is drawing to a close. This project has been challenging but has largely gone according to plan.

“Another important project that has just been finished is the rebuilding and resealing of three blocks of SH6 in Westport between Palmerston St from Bentham St to Rintoul St. This was a demanding project, but good support from the community and local businesses has been seen it through to a successful conclusion”. 

Other West Coast State Highway projects completed or nearing completion include improving the road re-alignment at Kelly’s Creek on State Highway 73 between Otira and Kumara, providing extra seal width and edge protection as well. On the same stretch of Highway at Goat Creek, a single lane Bridge was replaced and improvements made to the bridge approaches. 

The 10 Ten Mile Bailey Bridge was successfully removed and replaced with the existing bridge after it was re-furbished and extended. The project caused minimal delays to road users and over dimension vehicles servicing the Stockton mine north of Westport.

South of Hokitika on State Highway 6 near Woolhouse Creek two aging bridges have been replaced with steel culverts and the highway alignment improved on one of the approaches. This will eventually tie with access to the new Westland District Council landfill. Meanwhile a major upgrade to the entrance of the Lyell camping ground on SH6 could be largely finished in the next few weeks. The NZTA has working closely with the Department of Conservation on this project that will provide safer state highway in and out of this popular tourist attraction.