Proposal to block dangerous turn-off

Highway authority Transit has suggested permanently closing off a dangerous intersection at East Taieri.

Under the proposal, Elizabeth Ave would be closed at State Highway 1 and the other end of the road extended by about 70m to connect with Riccarton Rd.

The extension was feasible because Transit owned the land between the end of the avenue and Riccarton Rd, acting Otago-Southland manager Bruce Richards said yesterday.

‘‘It is really do-able . . . and sensible.''

However, he said the proposal was ‘‘innovative'' and would require the consent of the Dunedin City Council, which would probably have to take over ownership of the road.

‘‘Transit is looking to do something which is not directly related to a highway but with the edges of a highway. We also need to talk to neighbouring landowners.''

There have been concerns for some years about right turns into and out of Elizabeth Ave because the intersection is at the brow of a hill and turning vehicles are difficult to see.

Mr Richards said the proposal arose during discussions over the disposal of about 10.4ha of Transit-owned land no longer required after plans to build the East Taieri bypass, a new 2.8km-long stretch of highway between the Mosgiel turn-off and the Gladfield golf course, were abandoned in October.

The idea was being explored as part of the detailed planning for the development of newly rezoned residential land between Elizabeth Ave and Mosgiel, he said.

Aside from about 1ha at the end of Elizabeth Ave, the land no longer needed for the bypass would be sold, Mr Richards said. It would be offered to Ngai Tahu and then to the original owners.

City Council transportation planning manager Don Hill was unavailable for comment on the proposal yesterday.

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