Mosgiel traffic solution on list of NZTA priorities

Sorting out Mosgiel transport troubles has landed on a government list of priority projects worth up to $100 million and community leaders are keen for a solution to get past the planning stage this time.

The need for a heavy-traffic bypass has been discussed and bogged down in argument for more than 20 years.

More argument is on its way, after a project described in more general terms than a bypass was included in a NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi state highway investment proposal for 2024-34.

It was defined as interventions to optimise State Highway1 and SH87 in and around Mosgiel, and was included in a bracket with a 10-year cost between $10m and $100m.

Justifications included significant growth in housing development expected and improving travel time reliability and safety outcomes.

If it gains traction, there might be project development from 2024-27, and then design and consenting, property acquisition and construction.

However, Mosgiel transport improvements have long languished on to-do lists.

Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairman Andrew Simms said the need for a heavy-transport bypass and a second entrance into Mosgiel from SH1 had been recognised for many years by the community board and the Dunedin City Council.

"With all of the growth planned for the Taieri, this is now imperative," Mr Simms said.

"It is also imperative that the council and the community, along with those that represent us at government level, keep the urgency on this issue for the benefit of all Dunedin and our entire region."

Mosgiel transport issues were also discussed this month at a hearing for a future development strategy for Dunedin.

Mr Simms said it was evident during the hearing much of Dunedin’s growth could happen on the Taieri.

Various submitters spoke of planning in-fill housing, urban subdivisions, rural subdivisions, a retirement village and a possible freight logistics hub — "all on the Taieri", he said.

Development in the Mosgiel-Taieri area makes resolution of transport issues increasingly vital,...
Development in the Mosgiel-Taieri area makes resolution of transport issues increasingly vital, community board deputy chairman Dean McAlwee says. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Board deputy chairman Dean McAlwee said a traffic solution for Mosgiel was well overdue.

Getting something done was now critical, he said.

Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich said it was pleasing to see "optimisation of SH1 and especially SH87 around and in Mosgiel is now moving to a planning phase".

"These improvements will be critical to a Mosgiel logistics hub and a great benefit to residents," he said.

Deputy mayor Cherry Lucas said the transport agency had acknowledged Mosgiel issues — concerning SH87, "which I hope is in relation to a heavy-vehicle bypass", and SH1 in relation to entering and leaving Mosgiel.

It was great to see Mosgiel in the planning process, although it was a "first step", she said.

Among highlights in wider Otago were a business case planned for replacing the single-lane Albert Town bridge on SH6 and Frankton Flats network improvements at Queenstown.

The Queenstown project was in the $100m-$250m bracket.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Glyn Lewers said the Frankton Flats programme being considered a road of regional significance was a highlight.

"Of the 10 committed projects in Otago, seven occur within the Queenstown Lakes District," Mr Lewers said.

It would be a great outcome for Hawea and Upper Clutha if the Albert Town project ended up gaining approval from the transport agency’s board, he said.

Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark said SH1 between the city and Bluff remained an area of concern.

"Given this highway leads to our port in Bluff ... I would have expected a higher level of importance around the recent highways of significance."