South Island roads to be upgraded

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 28, 2020

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 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 under way on some projects by the end of August,” said Jones.

 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 NZ 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,” said Jones.

 The NZTA will contribute $1 million for operational resource support to deliver the projects on deadline.

West Coast

SH67 Granity seawall $3.6 million

This project will provide seawall protection to a section of SH67 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.

SH6 Tatare Bridge Franz Josef safety improvements $1.5 million

This project will improve safety and access to the 130m-long single lane bridge to Franz Josef.

The funding will provide handrails and provision for separate pedestrian and cycle use, and will include the installation of guardrail 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.

West Coast state highway single lane bridges – safety retrofit $5 million

This project will see compliant guardrails 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 works are located on SH1 in Otago, north of Kakanui River and south of Oamaru.

The project will raise a 200m section of the state highway and involves the installation of a series of culverts.

There is no effective or reliable detour route during flood events and road closures can last up to two days, so this will avoid the flood closures that occur every two to three years.

SH6 – 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.


SH8, 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 safer places to pull over to rest and enjoy the views need to be provided.