Dunedin City Council is committed to the $2.6 million upgrade of Riccarton Rd. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Work on Riccarton Rd is slated to begin in the next financial
year, more than a decade after the debate about the road's
A stretch of road between half a kilometre and a kilometre
long will be widened during the 2014-15 construction season,
Dunedin City Council roading projects engineer Evan Matheson
''It's taken us a little longer than we thought it would to
work through the property negotiations, but we would expect
to do the first section ... next year,'' he said.
The $2.6 million upgrade was approved by council in 2011. The
road is to be widened by up to 4m along a 4.2km stretch from
Gladstone Rd to State Highway 87.
Despite some concerns expressed recently that the budget for
the project had been reduced, the budget remained the same as
allocated at the outset and had not diminished, Mr Matheson
The upgrade was ''primarily a safety project'' which would
widen the road and add shoulders, he said.
The upgrade would benefit all road users, including cyclists
Asked if the upgrade was designed to accommodate more heavy
vehicle traffic, Mr Matheson played down those concerns.
''We don't think the number of heavy vehicles using Riccarton
Rd will change,'' he said.
''The improvements we are doing is to make it more safe for
everyone. At this stage we don't think it will attract any
additional large vehicle traffic.''
The upgrade would take about 10 years to complete and would
require property owners to work with the council.
''We are talking to all the property owners on the southern
side of the road ... once we have got agreement with them to
purchase their land we can formalise it and begin work.''
The $2.6 million budget took into account the cost of the
land purchases, he said.
He expected some property owners might not be able to come to
agreement with the council, but ''council would like to get
agreement with all property owners''.
''We probably won't get the outcomes we want if we can't get
all the properties we need,'' he said.