Go-ahead for Hawthorne Drive
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says Queenstown is one the few places around the country where traffic congestion issues need immediate attention.
‘‘We understand the issues here. We understand the frustrations. We’ve got a strong programme,’’ he said
The Minister was in the resort to ‘‘turn the first sod’’ on the longawaited Eastern Access Road - now Hawthorne Drive - in Frankton.
‘‘There’s a small number of areas in New Zealand that are high growth ... but Queenstown’s right in there,’’ he said. ’’I think for a lot of locals now, it’s a bit frustrating. We get that. We certainly understand that. [We] need to really get on with them and tackle them.’’
The $21.8 million road - in the pipeline for almost a decade and to be completed by the end of next year - was the first of several projects in action, proposed and planned to deal with traffic congestion. Others included the Kawarau Bridge redevelopment, park and ride schemes and cycle trails, Bridges said.
‘‘It’s going to provide a much better bypass. It’s going to be a real game changer in terms of reducing the congestion issues you’ve got here and improving access,’’ he said.
Bridges also announced work would begin on a second lane on the western side of the BP roundabout in early 2017.
Queenstown Lakes mayor Jim Boult, left, and Transport Minister Simon Bridges turn the first sod at Hawthorne Drive.