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Built by Fulton Hogan on behalf of NZ Transport Agency, the $15 million job was acknowledged at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Edendale this morning.
Invercargill Labour list MP Dr Liz Craig, who opened the event, said it would benefit commuters and the wider Edendale community alike.
“It will increase safety for Edendale residents by shifting State Highway 1 traffic away from the town, the primary school and the Fonterra dairy plant.
“The realignment will also bring considerable environmental benefits, with less traffic noise and fewer vehicle emissions where people live.”
The project’s features included a 2.6km highway around Edendale and the local Fonterra plant, a four-legged roundabout, two additional road connections, a dedicated passing lane, and a stock and light farm vehicle underpass.
Stormwater was also being treated and released using sustainable techniques, including soak-pits and a large basin to manage run-off after large rainfall.
NZ Transport Agency project manager Jason Forbes said the 18 month-long transformation would replace tight curves, intersections and rail crossings of the former highway route to improve traffic and road safety.
“We built it primarily for road safety. It had a disproportionately high level of heavy vehicles on the existing alignment and they were all going past the local primary school.
“Removing all those obstacles was the main thing and opening up access to the wider Southland region.”
Southland Mayor Gary Tong was present at the event, as well as Ngai Tahu Kaumatua representative Taare Bradshaw, and NZ Transport Agency director regional relationships Jim Harland.