NZTA to cover 75% of roundabout costs

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will provide the majority of funding for a proposed $2.3million upgrade of the intersection of Winchester-Geraldine, Coach and Tiplady Rds.

The project involves transforming the intersection into a roundabout with the aim of improving road safety at the junction, which is a major route for businesses, tourists and local residents.

Timaru District Council land and transport manager Andrew Dixon said the NZTA funding would cover 75% of the total project.

“Our normal rate is 51% but this road safety project is one of the only two projects in the Canterbury region funded by NZTA on the targeted enhanced financial assistance rate basis,” he said.

“The intersection has been considered as a safety issue for a number of years.”

There had been eight injury-causing crashes, three of them resulting in serious injuries, at the intersection over the past 10 years, Mr Dixon said.

The roads were intensively used by motorists and heavy vehicles travelling from Christchurch to Queenstown, he said.

“The number of heavy vehicles has increased significantly from 20 to 200 per day in the last 10 years, which in turn, has increased the risk to motorists.”

Various measures to improve the safety at this intersection had already been implemented, including active “Stop Ahead” signage, other traffic signage and improved road markings and road surfacing, but a significant safety issue remained.

“NZTA have assessed the intersection and recommend that installing a large roundabout will create a much improved road safety environment for all road users,” Mr Dixon said.

“Improving safety for road users is important to us and a key Government priority. We expect the improved safety along this section can help support future growth in the area.”

The project is forecast to be completed by June 2021. Detailed design is to be provided early next year and construction should start late next year.