Work set to ease Johns Rd gridlock

18:59, Jul 24 2013

Preparations are being made for the next stage of Christchurch's western corridor upgrade.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has formally issued the Christchurch City Council with a notice of requirement so it can obtain additional land it needs to widen Johns Rd/State Highway 1 between The Groynes and Sawyers Arms Rd into four lanes, separated by a central median strip.

It is the next section of the western corridor upgrade and forecast to cost between $5 million and $20m. In addition to the four-laning:

NZTA says the changes should help reduce travel times and improve access to Christchurch airport.

Johns Rd is congested much of the time and exceeds capacity at peak hours. Although the speed limit is 80kmh, drivers struggle to reach that speed.

"Following the earthquakes . . . there has been a significant population shift from east to west involving both residential and commercial activities. Coupled with the closure of the central business district and subsequent pressure on key transport routes, the upgrade to the wider western corridor has become more pressing," NZTA says.

It hopes to begin work on the widening next year.

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