You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
An expert consenting panel has approved the Queenstown Arterials Project, which will improve transport links and reduce congestion in the resort's CBD through the construction of a new urban road around the town centre.
Environment Minister David Parker said traffic congestion had been a "long-standing problem'' for Queenstown.
"[It] needs to be addressed as the city continues to grow and tourism recovers post-Covid-19.
"This project will help future-proof the city and contribute to a much safer, more climate-friendly transport network,” he said.
The arterial route will be built in three stages and ultimately linking Melbourne St to the Queenstown-Glenorchy Rd intersection.
It would include cycling and walking connections, which would reduce reliance on private vehicles and encourage more low-emissions modes of transport, Mr Parker said.
“Through the construction phase this project will create jobs and support the local economy, which has been hard-hit by the impact of the pandemic on international travel.”
Project consultants expected the bypass road to provide 477 direct full-time equivalent job opportunities and 702 indirect job opportunities during the construction phase.
Mr Parker said the project met the requirements under the fast-track consenting process by getting people into jobs, supporting the transition to low emissions and boosting local economies.
The Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 was one of the Government's levers to boost employment, speed up infrastructure development and improve environmental outcomes in response to the economic impacts of Covid-19.
The arterial approval was granted by an expert consenting panel chaired by barrister Heather Ash.
The decision took 67 working days from the time the application was lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), which was significantly faster than the time it took for a similar consent under the Resource Management Act 1991 consenting process.