Work on Riccarton Rd delayed to prevent traffic chaos

CHANGE OF PLAN: Work on the intersection of Matipo St and Riccarton Rd has been rescheduled to start in January.

Major work on Riccarton Rd has been pushed back until early next year in a bid to cause less disruption on the busy road.

Work at the intersection of Riccarton Rd and Matipo St has been rescheduled to take place in January after it was initially planned to begin next month or September.

The reason for the change of plan is due to roads being quieter during January.

The delay will also allow for further time to consider traffic management options to suit people travelling through and the requirements of businesses, city council’s planning, delivery and transport manager Lynette Ellis said.

It means planned work on the Matipo/Riccarton Rd and Clarence/Straven/Riccarton Rd intersection will occur at the same time in January.

Ms Ellis said working on the two intersections will not affect traffic flow, as Matipo St is planned to be undertaken in the day and Clarence/Stravenwork is planned to occur overnight.

The work is part of stage 2 of the Riccarton Rd upgrade, which began in February.

Stage one of the project included bus lanes from Deans Ave to Harakeke St and was fully completed in November.

Road works have been underway on Riccarton Rd since September 2016 to earthquake-damaged water pipes and implement a bus priority scheme.

Riccarton Bush and Kilmarnock Residents’ Association chairman Tony Simons said it is likely to cause less disruption for peak hour traffic.

“You have to take them on their word they are doing what they can do to minimise disruption,” he said.

Mr Simmons said Fulton Hogan is doing a good job and the residents’ association was “chuffed” they went to the trouble to present an update on progress at their recent annual general meeting.

He said if there are any concerns, it is not so much what is happening while the works are going on, but what might happen when the work is completed.

One of the concerns the residents’ association was the planned tree-planted median strip along Riccarton Rd and how it would impact peak traffic.

In May, it was reported the planned tree-planted median would be shortened and feature fewer trees than initially planned to ensure there were no barriers to emergency services.

Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board deputy chairwoman Helen Broughton said the plan sounds reasonable.

“They (Fulton Hogan) have done a really good job so far in terms of traffic movement and keeping people informed,” she said.

•HAVE YOUR SAY: How do you think work on Riccarton Rd is going? Email your views