Marlborough Roads* has awarded the $5.2 million SH1 Lions Back Realignment contract to Fulton Hogan (Marlborough), and construction will start this month.
Work to realign a 1.9km stretch of state highway 1, just south of Seddon, along the locally named 'Lions Back' hill, will start by the end of August. The eight-month project is programmed for completion by mid-2011 although, as with all roading projects, progress will be dependent upon the weather.
NZTA Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter says that the design removes five tight corners along this section of road, significantly improving highway safety and efficiency.
"By moving the road east of its current location and incorporating sweeping curves at either end, the difficult and winding nature of this existing section of road will be greatly improved," says Mr Porter.
"We are also widening the sealed shoulder to 3.5m in each direction over the hill to allow room for slower vehicles to move over to the left and allow other vehicles to pass safely," he says.
Work is already underway, to relocate some power lines and a Telecom fibre optic cable along the route, as this needs to be completed before the roading contract can begin.
*Marlborough Roads, as the district's roading office is known, was formally established on 1 December 2000 and is responsible for the management of both NZ Transport Agency-owned state highways in Marlborough and Marlborough District Council-owned roads.