SH6 safety efforts behind new work

Improving safety and transport efficiency were two key reasons behind the New Zealand Transport Agency and Queenstown Lakes District Council's plans to upgrade part of State Highway 6 at Frankton.

The notice of requirement for an alteration to a designation and a requirement for a designation, before independent commissioners David Collins and Lyal Cocks began yesterday in Queenstown.

Beca Infrastructure Ltd technical director Dr Shane Turner said NZTA proposed to construct a new two-lane, four-arm roundabout - of which three arms would initially be constructed - about 270m southwest of the Glenda Dr-SH6 intersection.

The QLDC is seeking approval to build three new roads - the "Eastern Access Rd"(EAR) running perpendicular to SH6 between the new roundabout and a second roundabout; "Road 2" intersecting with EAR and running to "Road 7", which would connect with Glenda Dr.

Dr Turner said the slightly increased travel time for those wanting to enter or exit the State Highway network needed to be balanced by the "significant improvements to road safety" resulting from the turn bans and new roundabout.

"It is my opinion that the proposed intersection, roundabout and arterial link changes will have a positive effect on road safety.

"The key improvements will be a reduction in the number of right-turning crashes and injury crashes."

However, "some types of crashes" were expected to increase, for example, rear-end crashes at the roundabout, but they would be of "a lower severity" than the current crash history showed.

Crash records indicated incidents at the Glenda Dr-State Highway 6 intersection were almost four times that of a "typical T-junction with these traffic volumes".

The average annual daily traffic volume on the State Highway at Glenda Dr was about 14,700 vehicles a day, of which 6.8% were heavy commercial vehicles.

The traffic volume on Glenda Dr was about 7000 vehicles a day.

The proposals attracted 16 submissions, one in opposition, with the rest demonstrating "broad support".

The council and NZTA had been consulting with those who wanted changes made.

If approved, the works - which would be led by NZTA - would begin "well before the end" of the year.

The hearing continues today.


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