Work to improve safety at the busy SH6/Tucker Beach Road intersection near Queenstown’s Frankton is now underway.
As a result, there will be temporary changes to managing traffic through the construction site which will affect people living in or visiting Quail Rise and Tucker Beach Road.
There will be a loop detour in each direction to get back to Frankton and Queenstown on SH6 from Tucker Beach Road and to get onto Tucker Beach Road from the Shotover River side from Monday, 1 October.
Tucker Beach Road will be left in, and left out only for eight to ten weeks into early December. This traffic plan will be reviewed after four weeks for opportunities to reduce the duration of the turning restrictions.
Tucker Beach Road and SH6 intersection, looking towards the Shotover River:
This $6.4 million NZ Transport Agency Tucker Beach Road project(external link) features a safety underpass below SH6 at the Shotover River Bridge. It then links to a slip road for Tucker Beach Road traffic going west toward Frankton or Queenstown.
At the moment, a right-hand turn across two lanes of highway traffic is needed to make this journey.
In conjunction with the roading work, water pipelines are being installed on behalf of the Queenstown Lakes District Council. These will service nearby future subdivisions, says Transport Agency Senior Project Manager Phil Dowsett.
Temporary traffic management will be in place for eight to ten weeks from Monday, 1 October, and will be needed on occasions over the seven month life of this project to ensure everyone’s safety - road users and construction crew.
“This first round of traffic management measures – restricting the turns out of Tucker Beach Road to left hand turns only towards the river and left hand turns in from Frankton - are needed to ensure the safety of the crews digging trenches for the new water and wastewater pipes and putting in guardrails.
“We looked at all the alternatives, and the only practical option with the limited highway space available, is to temporarily restrict right turns. Frankton-bound drivers will instead need to make a left turn on to the highway and drive east to the Shotover Country roundabout, then head back toward Frankton on SH6.
“Those wanting to turn right from SH6, heading towards Frankton, into Tucker Beach Road will need to keep driving west to the Hawthorne Drive roundabout, then loop back east again to turn left into Tucker Beach Road.”
Mr Dowsett says these turning restrictions will be lifted once the new water pipes’ and guardrails’ installation is at a stage where there’s enough highway width to reinstate right-hand turns safely at the Tucker Beach Road intersection.
Roundabouts will be busier
The Transport Agency encourages people to allow a few more minutes travel time while these turning measures are in place, as they are expected to increase traffic at peak travel times at both the Hawthorne Drive and Shotover Country roundabouts.
“We appreciate the patience of road users while this essential work is carried out and will review progress in four weeks to see if these turning restrictions can be lifted sooner,” says Mr Dowsett.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor Jim Boult is thrilled to see this work underway and also encourages drivers to be cautious and patient. “I’m sure the residents of Tuckers Beach and Quail Rise in particular will happily put up with a short term inconvenience in the interests of this essential work to improve the intersection,” he says.
The full project will be completed in April or early May, although the new highway slip road west to Frankton could be available from March.