Tenders are open for the Tinwald corridor upgrade, which will take 12 months to complete once it starts later this year.
But there are already concerns about the disruption it will cause.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is calling for tenders to construct the State Highway 1 improvements through Tinwald that includes an upgraded intersection and traffic lights at the SH1/Lagmhor Road/Agnes Street intersection and adjacent streets, a new rail level crossing and improved pedestrian and cycling facilities.
It is a similar joint Waka Kotahi and Kiwi Rail project to the upgrade at Walnut Avenue intersections that was completed in November last year.
That project, which took 18 months to complete, sparked the ire of the community over how long it took.
With construction in Tinwald expected to begin soon after mid- 2023 and take about a year to complete, with the time frame to be finalised in the tender, councillor Richard Wilson raised concerns about the disruption of another “12 months of road cones”.
“At the moment it’s bad enough [with traffic] stopping halfway to Hinds, this could mean we don’t get out of Hinds, so I’m concerned how this upgrade is going to disrupt us,” Wilson said.
There have been previous assurances from Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail that they would work more closely together for this project and that the communication around timings would be much clearer.
Waka Kotahi will be meeting with the council soon to present the final design.
“The meeting isn’t for council endorsement or consultation, instead it is for information, and presents an opportunity to explain the final design and answer questions,” chief executive Hamish Riach said.
The consultation with stakeholders and the community occurred back in 2021 and “there has been ongoing engagement with residents and businesses during the design”.
- By Jonathan Leask