Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges today marked the start of the final two Christchurch Motorway projects to be built under the Government’s Roads of National Significance programme.
The new Christchurch Northern Corridor project and Stage 2 of the Christchurch Southern Motorway extension both start this month.
“The two projects form the final part of the Government’s $900 million Christchurch Roads of National Significance programme, which is the most ambitious roading programme ever seen in Christchurch,” Mr Bridges says.
The $240 million Christchurch Northern Corridor will include:
· A new 8km four-lane motorway starting at the Waimakariri River and finishing on Cranford Street in the City
· Four-laning of QEII Drive
· The addition of a third northbound lane on the Waimakariri Bridge
· A shared pedestrian and cycle path that will run almost the full length of the Christchurch Northern Corridor, from Empire Road to Cranford Street
The $195 million Christchurch Southern Motorway extension project will see the current four-lane motorway extended by 13km through to Main South Road, just north of Rolleston.
Mr Bridges says it’s expected the Southern Motorway extension will halve travel time between Rolleston and Christchurch at peak times from 30 minutes to about 15 minutes.
“All up, the construction of these two projects will see nearly half a billion dollars injected into Canterbury, providing hundreds of jobs directly and indirectly.
“These two significant motorway projects will also complete the city’s roading network. They will change the way people and freight move around Christchurch City, from the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, the inland port links at Rolleston and to the Christchurch International Airport.
“The Government is committed to seeing the South Island's largest city and largest port supported by a roading network which will support the South Island’s economic and social growth.
“Well-designed and constructed motorways free up suburban streets for residents and offer opportunities for local businesses. They help us build vibrant, safer neighbourhoods for all people, essential for the city’s rebuild after the earthquakes,” Mr Bridges says.
The Christchurch Roads of National Significance programme covers three corridors – Northern, Western and Southern. Stage 1 of the Southern Motorway was completed in December 2012 with Stage 2 scheduled for completion in early 2020.
Completion of the new Christchurch Northern Corridor is also scheduled for 2020. The Western Corridor is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Further information about the Christchurch Motorway projects is available at: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/christchurch-motorways/