The city's most dangerous intersection

23:21, Mar 26 2014
Bad intersections
BAD INTERSECTIONS: The 10 most dangerous intersections in Christchurch.

Work on a multimillion-dollar fix to Christchurch's most dangerous intersection should start later this year.

The Russley Rd-Memorial Ave intersection has been identified as Christchurch's most dangerous.

The New Zealand Transport Agency released yesterday a list of the country's top 100 most dangerous intersections based on injury accidents, traffic volume and speed.

russley memorial intersection
WORST INTERSECTION: The Russley Rd-Memorial Ave intersection has been identified as Christchurch's most dangerous.

An Auckland intersection topped the list, but Christchurch's flat terrain and grid roading network meant it was strongly represented, with 14 intersections in the top 100.

NZTA says a planned "Memorial Ave flyover" will deal with the troublesome intersection - taking the north to south traffic over the top of the traffic from the airport.

Southern director Jim Harland said the project was still at the consenting stage but he hoped work would start before the end of this year.


"Risk will be reduced significantly because the north to south traffic will not be interacting with the traffic to the airport," Harland said.

The project is part of the overall $85 million to $95m Russley Rd, Harewood to Avonhead Park upgrade.

Although fewer injuries have occurred when compared with second placed intersection Main North Rd and QEII Drive, traffic volume and the 60-80kmh speed limits made it higher- risk.

The highest-risk intersection nationally was Auckland's Grenbrook Rd and Kingseat Rd intersection, followed by two in Taupo - the Thermal Explorer Highway and Poihipi Rd intersection, and Napier-Taupo Rd and Arrowsmith Ave intersection.

Outside of Christchurch, Marlborough's State Highway 1 and Ferry Rd is the riskiest South Island intersection followed by Dunedin's State Highway 1 and Great King St and Waimakariri's Main North Rd and Williams St.

Harland said Christchurch's flat topography and grid network were responsible for problem intersections.

"It means per kilometre there are more intersections.

"Beyond Christchurch, Canterbury has a lot of long roads and crossroads, which present quite a high risk," he said.

Only four of the intersections in Christchurch are the responsibility of NZTA, which its motorways project will address.

The rest will need the cash-strapped Christchurch City Council to come up with ways of making them safer.

The council could not provide comment last night.

National manager road policing, Superintendent Carey Griffiths, said a minor error of judgment could have "catastrophic consequences".

"Police are working with NZTA to assess the list of riskiest intersections and identify appropriate measures which can be taken to improve safety.

"Every intersection is different and drivers need to look, look and look again every time, even if they know they have the right of way."

The Press