The design of the NZ Transport Agency’s State Highway 1 Edendale Bypass, is nearing completion.
The project has been developed to increase the route’s efficiency and to improve both community safety and safety on State Highway 1 between Invercargill and Mataura,” says Transport Agency Project Manager Jason Forbes. “It will do this by shifting the heavy traffic away from homes and the school on Salford St onto a new and safer highway which will pass around the back of the Fonterra plant.
“Edendale township is affected by highway traffic noise, so this will improve the environment for residents.
“The safe flow of traffic on the highway is affected by the varying speed limits, road geometry and layout, along with railway crossings and heavy vehicles travelling through the town,” he says. The two rail sidings into the Fonterra site from the main trunk line, used daily, can also delay highway traffic.
“The preferred option for addressing these issues is to realign State Highway 1 to the northwest of Edendale with a roundabout close to the southern end of the new route. This option future-proofs the highway and supports Fonterra’s use of rail as a freight option,” says Jason Forbes.
Last November, the Transport Agency held an open day, where two proposals were presented to the public for feedback. A survey was also produced to gather information. This consultation showed strong support in favour of the option which allowed traffic from the north to make a left turn off the new alignment onto the existing Pioneer Highway, in much the same way as drivers do now.
“Choosing this design means that vehicles heading south into Edendale, Wyndham and wider afield via the existing road, would be able to avoid passing the Edendale Primary School, which is a huge safety benefit.
“It is this design that has been progressed into the detailed design stage where stormwater, pavements, landscaping will be developed,” says Mr Forbes.
The Transport Agency intends to lodge its consent applications later in March and people are encouraged to enter a submission regardless of whether they agree with the favoured option or if they have concerns.
The Transport Agency is aiming to start construction at the end of the year.