Motorway project on track

by Kent Caddick

Good progress is being made on stage two of the Christchurch Southern Motorway development which will help relieve commuter pressure from Rolleston.

It’s been just over a year since the first sod was turned on stage two of the motorway extension and the New Zealand Transport Agency is pleased with the progress.

The extension is expected to halve travel time between Rolleston and Christchurch at peak times, from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, and reduce fatal and serious crashes by 40 per cent.

Stage two of the project will fourlane Main South Road (SH1) from near Rolleston to Robinsons Road, and see a new section of motorway built to connect with the first stage of the Christchurch Southern Motorway at Halswell Junction Road.

The sod was turned in November last year and the project is on track to open to traffic in early 2020.

NZTA project manager, Geoff Griffiths, said the Downer McConnell Dowell Joint Venture construction team is making good progress.

“Two of the project’s eight bridges are almost complete, two new local roads are open to traffic and more than 500,000 cubic metres of earth and other materials moved to make way for the new stretch of motorway.

“The team has completed decks and other work on the Main South Road and Waterholes Road bridges and the Trents Road Bridge abutments are completed and ready to receive pre-cast beams in January 2018,” Mr Griffiths said.

Work on another major structure, the Weedons Underpass, is in progress and temporary roads are being constructed at Halswell Junction Road and the Shands Road/Marshes Road interchange. Traffic will be moved onto these roads in early 2018 to allow the team to start constructing these bridges.

Mr Griffiths said there will be a lot of major changes in 2018 when the team will begin to widen Main South Road to two lanes in each direction.

“This is a large and complex operation that will involve extensive traffic management,” he said.

“Alongside this, work on the Weedons Interchange will be in full swing and construction of the underpass at Robinsons Road will also be underway.

“Earthworks and pavement construction will continue through the greenfields section of the project from Robinsons Road to Halswell Junction Road, with large amounts of material to be moved.”

He said motorists travelling around the Selwyn district, near the project, should expect detours, speed restrictions and other traffic management as work continues.

“Traffic will be closely monitored to minimise disruption and delays however work of this scale cannot be undertaken without some effects.

“People should plan ahead and allow extra travel time.”

Stage One of the Christchurch Southern Motorway project opened to traffic in December 2012 and Stage Two is on track to open to traffic in early 2020.