Fewer lanes feature of ‘new’ St Andrew St

A preferred option for the future form of St Andrew St between the inpatient and outpatient buildings of the new Dunedin hospital could be shared with the public in February next year.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has put forward a February-March timeframe for feedback on what it ends up proposing.

It appears likely there will be fewer lanes for traffic than the existing four — possibly three or maybe two. Other factors to weigh up will include turning options for vehicles.

Among the aims is to make the area more suitable for pedestrians and cyclists.

A final decision is expected in mid-2024.

St Andrew St is part of State Highway88, providing east-west access into and out of the Dunedin central business district.

The highway ends where it connects with the northbound one-way Cumberland St-SH1, but the termination point for SH88 could shift a little north while the part of St Andrew St flanked by the hospital takes on a more pedestrian-oriented character.

St Andrew St is expected to be well used as a crossing between the two hospital buildings.

Consultancy Jasmax has also said widened footpaths would provide better access between the new hospital and the bus hub, and seating and separation from moving traffic would improve the area for pedestrians.

Civil engineering firm WSP has looked into both the possibility of a different end point for SH88 and how changes to St Andrew St might affect the network.

It studied three options relating to the road between Cumberland and Castle Sts.

A two-lane concept for this part of St Andrew St would not feature right turns out of it.

Of the two three-lane options, one would allow right turns into both Cumberland and Castle Sts.

The other would ban right turns into Cumberland St.

Under any scenario, the SH1 one-way pair would retain two lanes each way and keep their one-way status, but reduced speed limits are expected.

The transport agency is planning to consult various parties in the coming months about shortlisted options.

It is understood this, as well as technical analysis, will be used to develop the preferred option.

The part of the street subject to the revamp is near the Dunedin Central Fire Station, in Castle St, and changes would affect traffic routes taken by the fire brigade.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Otago district assistant commander Craig Geddes said he had participated in regular discussions with other emergency services and the transport agency about the possible changes to St Andrew St.

He expected the group would have further input before it was formally put before the public for consultation.

"I have been impressed with all of the consultants involved in this process and feel strongly that they have really listened to all of our feedback when designing proposals for review," Mr Geddes said.

The transport agency has said modelling showed fewer traffic lanes in St Andrew St and banning right turns might have little affect on the performance of the network.