New roundabout, new headache at dangerous intersection

Jeffrey Kitt/STUFF

Truck drivers say it is extremely tight for heavy vehicles to turn at the Spring Creek roundabout.

A new roundabout designed to make one of the South Island's most dangerous intersections safer has left truck drivers with "zero room for error".

After almost a year of construction, the multimillion-dollar roundabout at Spring Creek, between Blenheim and Picton, has opened to traffic.

But truck driver Mark Richardson said the New Zealand Transport Agency's solution made it extremely tight for heavy vehicles to turn.

"You legitimately need to get your front wheels over as far as you can to make the turn, to the point where there is millimetres in it from hitting the side of the road," he said.

READ MORE:
Business forced to cut staff as Spring Creek roundabout drags on
NZTA release final multimillion-dollar cost of Spring Creek roundabout
Spring Creek roundabout opening date pushed back to spring

Fellow truck driver David Leask agreed the roundabout was tight, especially for larger rigs. "I've already had cones under the trailer, it's very tight," he said.

The Spring Creek roundabout has taken shape this week, with traffic taking to the $4.3 million intersection.
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

The Spring Creek roundabout has taken shape this week, with traffic taking to the $4.3 million intersection.

The intersection between State Highway 1, SH62 and Ferry Rd was one of the South Island's highest risk intersections.

NZTA revealed last month the final cost to upgrade the intersection totalled $4.3 million.

The project had drawn the ire of business owners in the area, who said in June the lengthy construction process was hurting their takings.

Traffic slows to 30kmh along State Highway 1 as it nears the roadworks. (File photo)
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Traffic slows to 30kmh along State Highway 1 as it nears the roadworks. (File photo)

Junction Hotel and Bar owner Mike Pink could see the road from his business, and said some trucks looked too big for the roundabout.

Ad Feedback

"A lot of them can't get around properly," he said. "They're struggling to turn without hitting the bollards."

Road Transport Association Marlborough chairman Peter Heagney said he would wait until the roundabout was complete before passing judgement.

The intersection, between State Highway 1, SH62 and Ferry Rd at Spring Creek, about 6km north of Blenheim.
STUFF

The intersection, between State Highway 1, SH62 and Ferry Rd at Spring Creek, about 6km north of Blenheim.

Traffic lights were the preferred option for many in the trucking industry, so it would be interesting to see how the roundabout fared, he said.

Construction on the roundabout started in October last year, but poor weather and unforseen ground conditions pushed the June completion date back.

Over the past 10 years, 32 people had crashed at the Spring Creek crossing, which was part of a major freight line for heavy vehicles travelling to and from Picton.

Final surfacing and signage should be finished by the end of August.
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Final surfacing and signage should be finished by the end of August.

Spring Creek Vintners general manager Gus Altschwager said upgraded traffic management at the intersection was a welcome sight.

Altschwager was in a crash at the intersection five years ago, and said the roundabout would make Spring Creek easier for all drivers to navigate safely.

"It is much safer than it has ever been, we're just grateful it's actually happening," he said.

NZTA added this sign to the Junction Hotel and Bar in June.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

NZTA added this sign to the Junction Hotel and Bar in June.

NZTA senior project manager Andrew Adams said traffic cones remained on the roundabout to protect the installation of road islands.

"As a result, it is a tighter space than it will be once completed for long and large vehicles like trucks to get around," he said.

The roundabout followed standard safety specifications in terms of design, he added.

NZTA network manager Frank Porter said final surfacing and signage were expected by the end of August.

"Crews have made good progress over the last month after resolving all the issues with underground services, soil contamination and detailed pavement design," Porter said.

"We thank the community and businesses most affected by this significant safety project for being patient as this project's timeframe was extended due to some of these unforeseen circumstances."

 - The Marlborough Express

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Driver still missing video

The car was almost underneath the Harbour Bridge, after having driven off Curran St, Westhaven. It was later towed, ...

After a car drove into Auckland harbour, a fisherman tried to smash windows and save the person inside.

Air NZ 'restricting sales' video

Air New Zealand is flying long-haul planes to the capital purely to refuel, as the airline struggles to cope with the ...

Air NZ is taking the extraordinary step of restricting ticket sales and halting sales of some international services.

Sport: Indoor bowls team take title

Holy Cross School's champion netballers, winners of the AIMS Games netball tournament which featured 122 teams.

Holy Cross have won the AIMS Games netball title for the second time in three years.

NZ's health ranking low

New Zealand is ranked 32nd out of 188 countries on a range of global health measures related to the UN's health-related ...

New Zealand's child sex abuse rates are among the world's worst, according to a United Nations report.

Wellington

'They picked my teeth off the road'

Linda Gibson is worried a child could die after she collided with a cyclist on the controversial Island Bay cycleway.

Pedestrian injured in Island Bay bike collision blames cycleway design.

Kebab shop roasted

Upper Hutt kebab store owners must pay a Turkish couple more than $80,000 following the Employment Relations Authority's ...

Upper Hutt eatery fired worker because she wanted another child. Now it faces a $60,000 bill.

'Hard' housing choices 

2308 2013 Photo Ross Giblin, copyright Dominion Post, Fairfax.
Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery.

Chief exec warns Wellington councillors affordable housing agenda won't be easy to deliver.

'Suspect' suitcase full of clothes

A suspicious suitcase left outside the Treasury in Wellington has been found to be full of clothes.

Police stopped Wellington traffic to examine a case left outside the Treasury.

Canterbury

Flying fox saga divides community

A noisy flying fox at Muka Park in Christchurch has been tearing the local community apart.

Warring neighbourhood groups and tens of thousands of dollars have failed to reach a compromise over a noisy flying fox.

Cheap spots in favour

Cheaper suburbs are finding favour with Christchurch home buyers.

Home buyers opting for cheapest suburbs, while demand slows for pricier spots.

Motel used as crime base

Police followed a stolen car to a Christchurch motel and found a room full of stolen property.

Burglars booked a motel room under a false name and used it as a base to raid dozens of homes, police allege.

Drowned couple remembered

Avneel Ram, 25, and Sheetal Ram, 30, died after their car plunged into a lake in Halswell.

A much-loved couple who drowned in a suburban Christchurch lake will "continue to live" in the hearts of their family.

Waikato

Chapel's heavenly afterlife

St Mary's Convent Chapel in Hamilton East has been reopened after earthquake strengthening. It used to be connected to ...

Hamilton's historic convent is gone but the chapel that was attached to it has been given a new lease of life.

Gastro risk real

Dr Steve Hrudey, a drinking water expert from University of Alberta, Canada, is boiling drinking water during when ...

An expert says there's nothing stopping another outbreak like Havelock North, and tourists ought to be told.

Housing's election effect

The election has put a damper on Hamilton's housing market.

However, a lift in prices and buyer activity is expected post-election.

New  true blue ducklings

The two whio are believed to be one male and one female. Seen here at 22 days old.

It's estimated there are only 1200 adult whio left.

Taranaki

Three days, three parties

Her family travelled from as far as Kaikohe and Christchurch to celebrate her birthday with her.

One with family, one with friends and one with the rest home to finish off her 109th birthday celebrations.

Myrtle rust could surge

Manukorihi golf club was temporarily closed due to positive tests for myrtle rust in June.

The eradication of myrtle rust might not be possible, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.

Oktoberfest? Nein.

At the Oktoberfest beer festival in 2014, Sam Hagmann played traditional Swiss instrument alphorn to kick off the ...

The annual German festival party has been replaced with a "sophisticated" food and drink pairing event.

High school's redevelopment

Waitara High School Principal Daryl Warburton pictured.
The school is having a lot of changes over the next year.
Daryl ...

Waitara High Principal Daryl Warburton says the redevelopment will make a community space for adults as well as kids.

Manawatu

Voters celebrate Suffrage Day

Sandy Wilde casts her vote on Suffrage Day.

Kiwi women were first in the world to vote in national elections. They celebrated on Tuesday by voting.

Gift horse has bolted video

Punters in Palmerston North brave the cold to enjoy the eats on offer at a food truck Thursday event in The Square.

OPINION: Food truck events are hugely popular, but it seems we don't need them.

The day after the election

What if the election is a dead heat? What would Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader Bill English do then?

OPINION: With deals to be done, the really key day is not September 23, but the day after.

Arrest after fleeing police

Police chased a stolen car on State Highway 1, near Sanson, after it failed to stop.

Two police pursuits in two days after drivers in stolen cars fail to stop.

Nelson

Person critical

A 40-year-old male was flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition following an accident involving two trucks ...

A two-truck crash on SH6 south of Murchison has left a person in a critical condition.

Right to vote marked

Elizabeth Coleman, a relative by marriage of Kate Sheppard, leads walkers from the Church Steps in Nelson during the ...

Suffrage Day walk at Nelson draws 80 people, including a relative of Kate Sheppard.

Leader by example

Green Party leader James Shaw, left, and Nelson candidate Matt Lawrey walk along Rocks Rd in Nelson where Shaw announced ...

Green Party leader James Shaw pledges $23m to fix Rocks Rd.

Brook Stream clear after drop

Landcare Research water testing of the Brook Stream (pictured) post poison drop shows "no detectable residue" the Brook ...

No detectable poison residue found in the Brook Stream after drop the sanctuary says.

Marlborough

Owners highly motivated

New Zealand King Salmon's new barge is launched with air bags acting as rollers.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, 240 tonnes of fish feed. Wait, what?

Beaten for saying no

Blenheim man Tui Simon Kara admitted assault with intent to injure at the Blenheim District Court. (File photo)

Blenheim man violently attacks partner after being refused oral sex.

'Burt Munro of the skies' video

Burt Munro with his 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle.

In classic Burt Munro fashion, Graeme Frew's No 35 World War II fighter plane almost didn't make it to the start.

Driver critical after crash

A 40-year-old male was flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition following an accident involving two trucks ...

A two-truck crash on SH65 south of Murchison left a person in a critical condition.

South Canterbury

Parking meters stolen

Six parking meters have been stolen in Timaru, four from Bank St, and the other two from Strathallan St.

Police are looking for information after the theft of six parking meters in Timaru.

Rules could change

Minister Nick Smith said he endorsed the idea low-emission burners should only be introduced when old burners have ...

Meeting told Nick Smith will progress changes to national air standards.

Two escape fire video

Two people are in hospital after a well involved house fire near Timaru on Tuesday morning.

Elderly man carried wife over his shoulder as their house burned to the ground.

Fairlie helps crash victims

Fairlie Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighter Jeff Haugh, school bus driver Astrid Johns and firefighter Sam Haugh were ...

Bus driver, dairy owner and emergency staff among those who responded to bus crash.

Otago

Clyde's 'day of reckoning'

Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan above Clyde.

The Central Otago township of Clyde faces a potential $34 million sewage system upgrade to meet national water policy standards.

Pair rescued from waterfall

Two people have been rescued from the top of a waterfall near Queenstown. (File photo)

Two people have been rescued from a steep track above a waterfall at a popular rockclimbing spot near Queenstown.

No Southern Utd games for Invercargill

Southern United's Michael Hogan challenges Leo Villa from Team Wellington in the air during their match at Rugby Park in ...

While Southern United won't play any national league matches in Invercargill this summer, they are still likely to visit the deep south.

Changes under way at hospital

An independent review of Dunedin Hospital's urology department has been carried out after several patients experienced ...

Health Minister expresses ''full confidence'' in Dunedin Hospital management after concerns were raised over life-threatening delays.

Southland

Upgrade planned for Elles Rd intersection

Lake St was the site of a crash between a train and a logging truck earlier in September.

One of Invercargill's most hazardous intersections is set for a major upgrade.

Tiwai celebrates

NZ Aluminium Smelters general manager Gretta Stephens, with Southland Girls' High School students Imogen Brankin, Tayla ...

Southland Girls' High School and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters are celebrating 10 years of working together.

Grandad makes innovative playground

Neil Hall watches his grandson, Jack Shepherd, having fun in the playground he built using a 1946 Austin truck.

Jack Shepherd is having a ball in the playground made by his grandad.

Seal lion shot

Department of Conservation staff have found a second critically endangered sea lion shot on a Catlins beach.

DOC staff have found a second critically endangered sea lion shot.

Ad Feedback