Progress on western corridor

Posted on March 28, 2012 by

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Another stage of the western corridor “motorway” development gets underway this week. This will be the section between Carmen and Marshes Rd along State Highway 1, and will result in a four lane median divided arterial road. Some of the features include:

  • Widening Masham and Carmen Roads to become a 4-laned road with a raised median between Yaldhurst Road and Waterloo Road.
  • Upgrading the intersection of Carmen Road and Waterloo Road to improve traffic safety and efficiency by:
    • creating additional dedicated through-lanes for both north and south bound traffic
    • introducing dedicated right-turn lanes from Carmen Road to Waterloo Road in both directions
    • extending the two lane approaches along Waterloo Road to the Carmen Road intersection
  • Making Tirangi Street, Halwyn Drive and Chestnut Avenue left in / left out only intersections.
  • Establishing 1.5m on-road cycle lanes on both sides of the road and a 3m off-road joint pedestrian / cycle path from Kintyre Drive to Waterloo Road on the western side.
  • Replacing deep-dish gutters with conventional kerb and channel.
  • Relocating overhead services, such as power and telephone lines, underground.
  • Landscaping the roading corridor.
  • Inclusion of the Carmen Road sewer upgrade for the Christchurch City Council

Below are overhead images of the stretch of road upgrading, taken from the NZTA website:

This is part of the governments Roads of National Significance (RoNS) “Christchurch Motorways” package, which also includes the substantial Christchurch Southern and Northern Motorway extensions. The western corridor isn’t exactly a motorway, with only the Western Belfast Bypass section likely to be built to motorway standard (this will provide a direct connection between the Northern Motorway at Belfast and an upgraded and widened Johns Rd). The remainder of Johns and Russley Rds will be upgraded to expressway standard down to Avonhead Rd, with Carmen and Masham Rd being upgraded to four-lane arterial roads. The image below approximately highlights the different sections along the western corridor, with green for motorway, blue for expressway, and purple for four-lane arterial. 

Work on the section along Russley Rd from Avonhead Rd to Yaldhurst Rd (to the immediate north of the Carmen/Masham Rd section) began last December, and when I checked it out the other week it seemed to be making good progress. The biggest and most impressive works will be the expressway section, and the Western Belfast Bypass, which are due to kick off in the next few years. I still don’t see why they don’t just bite the bullet and grade separate the intersections along the expressway section (only Memorial ave will be made a grade separated interchange). Instead they are going to have four-laned roundabouts, which I think are not only dangerous but if you are going to spend all this money you may as well do it properly. I also wonder why the western corridor didn’t bypass Hornby and join up directly with the Southern Motorway south of Templeton? Instead, traffic continues to be dumped in the middle of Hornby, and onto Main South Rd, which kind of defeats the aim of CSM2 to reduce congestion in those areas. I just can’t see it happening, especially when you look at the growth of traffic (recent and projected) along the western corridor, and in and around Hornby.

The Carmen/Masham Rd upgrade is due for completion in November 2014.

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