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Fewer crashes are expected in Southland with the completion of the Catlins alternative coastal route.
Today’s official opening of the road marked the end of the Southland District Council’s biggest roading project to date, council transport and strategic manager Hartley Hare said.
About 18 months had been spent sealing and improving 23km of gravel road in the Catlins area.
The route included popular tourist destinations such as Slope Point, Waipapa Lighthouse, and Curio Bay,he said.
High traffic volumes along what was predominantly gravel road was a big hazard, he said.
‘‘One of the things historically was the number of crashes occurring alongthat route [due to] touristsor visitor drivers being unfamiliar with, or driving on, gravel roads,’’ he said.