Southern Motorway construction contract let


The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has let the contract for constructing the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway to a consortium led by Fulton Hogan in partnership with the engineering consultancy BECA.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has let the contract for constructing the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway to a consortium led by Fulton Hogan in partnership with the engineering consultancy BECA.

At a cost of $140 million, this project is believed to be the largest road construction project ever undertaken in the South Island and is the first project in a 10-year state highway network improvement programme in and around Christchurch. The highway improvements, identified by Government last year as part of the roads of national significance programme, include the Northern Arterial from the existing Northern Motorway to Queen Elizabeth II Drive (SH74), the Southern Motorway extension (SH73) from Curletts Road to Weedons Road north of Rolleston, and the Western Corridor (SH1) from Hornby to the Northern Motorway.

Announcing the awarding of the contract today, NZTA Board Deputy Chair Garry Moore said the Southern Motorway was designed to improve and future-proof access to the Christchurch Central Business District and Lyttelton, Port of Christchurch.

“The future economic growth and prosperity of the greater Christchurch area, Canterbury, and in turn the country, depends upon people and freight reaching destinations such as Lyttelton Port efficiently, safely and with a degree of certainty. The Southern Motorway extension will deliver reliable, safe and efficient access to and from the Christchurch CDB and Lyttelton Port for businesses throughout the region, particularly those south of Christchurch.”

Mr Moore said the Southern Motorway Extension was identified in the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS), the 35-year plan to integrate transport and development in the Greater Christchurch area developed in partnership with the NZTA, Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and Waimakariri District Council. Mr Moore said the collaborative approach behind the UDS had already produced results.

“By working closely with our UDS partners, consenting issues have been resolved to allow the first Christchurch road of national significance project to be launched today – several months ahead of schedule.”

Fulton Hogan project manager Tony Gallagher said winning this contract provided certainty of work flow for the company’s existing Canterbury staff.

“Fulton Hogan is both proud and delighted to be awarded this contract, which we believe is the largest roading contract to be awarded in the South Island. We commend the Government in accelerating their RoNS initiative as not only does it provide certainty of workflow for our existing staff, but it requires us to expand our team here in Canterbury. At its peak, around 125 of our existing staff, and that of our subcontractors, will be directly involved over the next 3 years. To complement and complete our existing team we have planned to employ an additional 28 people to enable us to construct the motorway.”

Mr Gallagher said in addition to the prestige of winning the contract and the direct employment benefits, the spin-off and flow-on effects would be considerable.

“Throughout the three years of construction the wider economic benefits and opportunities will be far reaching and considerable. We see this as not just a project for Fulton Hogan, but a stimulus for the wider business community”.

Stage I of the Christchurch Southern Motorway project connects the Brougham Street expressway (SH 73) with Main South Road (SH 1) and is approximately 10.5 kilometres long. There are three distinct sections:

  • Upgrade to a four-lane median separated motorway between Collins Street and the Curletts Road interchange with full interchange access at both Barrington Street and Curletts Road.
  • New four-lane median separated motorway built, between the Curletts Road interchange and the intersection of Halswell Junction and Springs Roads with underpasses at Aidanfield Drive and Awatea/Dunbars Roads.
  • Upgrade Halswell Junction Road, from Springs Road to Main South Road (SH 1), with traffic lights at the Shands Road intersection and an upgrade to the Springs Road roundabout.

Initial work involving the clearing of the motorway alignment will include fencing the work sites and relocating utilities such as power poles will start later this month, before the majority of the machinery moves in to start construction work in Summer 2010/2011. It is expected that the Southern Motorway will be completed in early 2013.