Hawthorne Dr extension 'tracking well'

The final section of the Hawthorne Dr extension between Pak'n Save and Remarkables Park is...
The final section of the Hawthorne Dr extension between Pak'n Save and Remarkables Park is expected to be open before Christmas. PHOTO: DAVID WILLIAMS
The Hawthorne Dr extension, which will ultimately link Remarkables Park to an internal roundabout near Pak'n Save, is ``tracking well'' to open before Christmas.

The first sod on the $25million project was turned on November 3 last year and the first stage, linking Remarkables Park to Glenda Dr, opened in June.

That stretch would close for nine days next month to replace a 300m section of ``sacrificial chip seal'', near the intersection with Glenda Dr, Queenstown Lakes District Council programme director Gareth Noble said.

Weather permitting, the road would be closed between October 12 and 21 to do the work.

``The chip seal surface will be milled out and new asphalt laid, complete with road markings, and will be ready for full use by the public when it opens again.''

A temporary 30kmh speed limit has applied to that section of the road since the first stage of the Hawthorne Dr extension was opened in June.

The work had been timed to coincide with a ``traditionally quieter time'' on the roading network to avoid as much disruption as possible, Mr Noble said.

The sacrificial seal was used to ensure the road was open to traffic this winter and it had since been a ``major contributor'' to less congestion at the BP roundabout and in the wider Frankton area.

The second stage is a 0.5km section continuing Hawthorne Dr past Glenda Dr to the internal roundabout near Pak'n Save.

A month after the first stage opened, the Queenstown Lakes District Council announced drive times between the BP roundabout and Queenstown Airport had been cut by up to 17 minutes.

Other contributors were the launch of Queenstown Airport's park-and-ride facilities and the opening of a new merging lane at the BP roundabout for Queenstown-bound traffic.

A new $2 bus service, to be launched in November, is expected to further ease congestion by encouraging more people to use public transport and leave private vehicles at home.

The new $22million two-lane Kawarau bridge will not be completed until the end of March next year, but a two-lane option will be available during the Christmas-New Year period.

The old Kawarau Falls bridge and one lane of the new bridge will be used to avoid the traditional holiday season bottleneck.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

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