Disruption as ‘triangle’ turned into ‘giant roundabout’

It is crunch time.

Contractors digging up Taieri Rd to replace 59-year-old power cables have reached one of Dunedin’s busiest intersections — that of Taieri Rd, Stuart St and Kaikorai Valley Rd.

Next week, they will have to dig a trench through the middle of it, which will cause disruption for motorists.

Aurora Energy external relations adviser Karen Melville said traffic management would be in place from Monday until the end of January, depending on progress.

The plan was to turn "the triangle" created by Taieri Rd, Kaikorai Valley Rd and Mellor St-Nairn St into a "giant round-about", she said.

During the work, traffic wanting to travel from Kaikorai Valley Rd to Stuart St would have to turn left at Mellor St-Nairn St, turn right on to Taieri Rd and join Stuart St that way, she said.

Traffic travelling downhill from Stuart St to Kaikorai Valley Rd would be able to take the same route as usual, but traffic headed from Stuart St to Taieri Rd would have to go on to Kaikorai Valley Rd, turn right into Mellor St-Nairn St and then  on to Taieri Rd.

"To minimise disruption at this busy intersection, we encourage road users to find alternate routes for the duration of work.

"We thank local residents and road users for their patience while we carry out this important upgrade."

She said no businesses in the area would be affected by the work.

Those wanting to access KFC in Kaikorai Valley would be able to use a dedicated lane, which would be signposted.

Essentially, Taieri Rd outside KFC would temporarily be made a dual carriageway, so traffic could travel from the intersection of Taieri Rd and Nairn St to KFC and back.

Kaikorai Valley Rd (city-bound) from Mellor St to the intersection with Taieri Rd would be closed to through traffic, but access to businesses would remain available, she said.

The $5.6 million project began in October last year and involves the replacement of the old gas-insulated cables with 3km of new high-voltage cables.

The new cables will take electricity from the Halfway Bush substation to the Smith St substation in central Dunedin, via Taieri Rd and Stuart St.

Underground ducting is being built in the centre of Taieri Rd and Stuart St and, once in place, Delta contractors will pull new 33kV electricity cables through the ducting in sections, join them together and then connect them to the network.

The power will be converted to 6.6kV at the Smith St substation, for distribution to 2700 homes and businesses, from the Octagon to Highgate.

The project is expected to be completed by June this year, and is part of Aurora Energy’s long-term renewal of the city’s electricity network.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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