Western Belfast By­pass open day

Northern Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STUFF

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple walked, ran and cy­cled Can­ter­bury’s new­est stretch of mo­tor­way ahead of its open­ing next month.

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency held an open day for Christchurch’s Western Belfast By­pass on Sun­day, with peo­ple able to get a look at the 4km by­pass be­fore it opens to traf­fic in stages.

By­pass­ing Belfast, the new four-lane stretch of high­way ex­tends the Christchurch North­ern Mo­tor­way and con­nects into State High­way 1 Johns Road, west of The Groynes en­trance. The project also in­cludes three new bridges, off-road walk­ing and cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties and a new-look en­trance to The Groynes recre­ation area.

Traf­fic will be switched onto the new by­pass in stages from early Novem­ber. This staged open­ing will al­low the project team to com­plete the fi­nal parts of the project, such as con­nect­ing the by­pass up to the ex­ist­ing road net­work and car­ry­ing out sur­fac­ing work on the on/off ramps.

A north­bound lane (head­ing to­wards Pic­ton) will open to traf­fic first, fol­lowed by a south­bound lane (head­ing to­wards Christchurch In­ter­na­tional Air­port) about a week later.

Weather de­pen­dent, all lanes are ex­pected to open to traf­fic in De­cem­ber 2017. The team will be back to lay the fi­nal low noise as­phalt sur­fac­ing in spring 2018.

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