Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
Safety and climate change resilience are behind South Island regional roading projects that are being brought forward as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
As part of the NZ Upgrade, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities.
“I’m pleased to announce $88.25 million on a major accelerated road investment plan with construction able to get underway on some projects by the end of August.
The South Island investment is about $25 million with six projects selected from West Coast to Canterbury.
“Officials from the Provincial Development Unit and the New Zealand Transport Agency have worked together to identify which roading improvements are ready to go but required funding.
“This investment is expected to contribute to regional economic development while providing safer roads, safer bridges, and easier-to-access stopping points.
“Some of the intersections we’re addressing are classed as high risk and need immediate attention. We’re also acknowledging the climate change chaos caused by regular flooding from the Kakanui River flood plain in the South Island’s Otago region.
“The funding will be used to raise a 200-metre section of the State Highway 1 north of Kakanui River and South of Oamaru where a series of culverts will be installed to reduce risk of road closure. This spot on State Highway 1 is regularly closed for up to two days at a time due to flooding events.
“Roads play a critical role in enabling regional economic activity and several regions’ roading networks exist in challenging conditions.
“I’m so proud to be prioritising the importance of the NZ upgrade programme that’s keeping our regions connected and more importantly safe,” Shane Jones said.
Notes to editors:
The New Zealand Transport Agency will contribute $1 million for operational resource support to deliver the projects on deadline.
SH 67 Granity Seawall $3.6 million
This project will provide seawall protection to a section of SH 67 between Granity and Ngakawau.
This highway suffers frequent coastal erosion and is an important link to the northern West Coast of the South Island.This project will improve the security and resilience of the highway for the local community, and for freight supplies and rural services in the region. The funding is for the construction of a 950m rock-lined bank to protect the road from a direct threat of sea erosion.
SH 6 Tatare Bridge Franz Josef Safety Improvements $1.5 million
This project will improve safety and access to the 130 metre long single lane bridge to Franz Josef.
The funding will provide hand-rails and provision for separate pedestrian and cycle use.
The upgrade will include the installation of guard-rail edge protection over the bridge and a clip-on pedestrian and cycle walkway.
The clip-on will reuse an existing clip-on structure removed from the Taramakau combined bridge that was removed when the new separated road bridge was opened in 2018.
The project will improve user-experience for locals and tourists by addressing safety risks and improving traffic flows.
West Coast State Highway Single Lane Bridges - Safety Retrofit $5 million
This project will see compliant guardrail installed on up to five single lane bridges throughout the West Coast network.
The proposed bridges are:
- SH73 Taipo River (timber railing)
- SH6 Mikonui River (timber railing)
- SH6 Wanganui River (timber rail only, approach guardrail only)
- SH6 Moeraki River (pipe rail)
- SH6 Gates of Haast (pipe rail)
SH1 north of Kakanui River/ South of Oamaru – Improving Flood mitigation $2 million
This project is to improve flood mitigation at the Kakanui River flood plain in Otago.
The project will raise a 200-metre section of the state highway and involves the installation of a series of culverts.
The works are located on SH1 in Otago, north of Kakanui River and south of Oamaru.
This will avoid the flood closures that occur every two to three years.
There is no effective or reliable detour route during flood events and road closures can last up to two days.
The project is expected to indirectly contribute to regional economic development because the improvements will reduce the frequency of road closures due to flooding.
SH 6 - SH8B Junction Cromwell – Intersection Upgrade $8 million
This project is to build a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of SH6 and SH8B in Cromwell.
The intersection has a high level of safety issues with serious injury crashes, with the safety record worsening over the last two years. SH6 is the main road from Cromwell to Wanaka and Queenstown. The increased popularity of the region and increased tourism numbers, as well as higher local growth, is causing increased pressure at this intersection.
The project is expected to contribute to the regional economic development plan as improvements will address the safety risks and improve traffic flows.
SH 8, 79, 80 MacKenzie Basin, Pull-Over Areas $5 million
This project will provide safe stopping areas to maximise the tourism potential of the MacKenzie Basin.
The funding will provide:
- a number of safety and access improvements
- increased capacity at existing rest areas
- new rest areas at scenic locations
- upgrade existing rest areas
- better signage
- directional arrows
- edge protection
- tourism information
- intersection improvements
- road widening and passing locations
An increasing number of self-driving tourists has meant we need to provide safer places to pull over to rest and enjoy the views.