Mt Iron roundabout: 'The finish line is in sight'

by Kim Bowden - Mar 05, 2024

The finish line is in sight - that is the latest from the New Zealand Transport Agency on the build of the new roundabout under the shadow of Mount Iron on the outskirts of Wānaka.

In an update today NZTA says the roundabout at the intersection of State Highways Six and 54 being built by contractor Fulton Hogan is expected to be completed by the end of April.

Until then, a lengthly detour that has taken traffic heading into Wānaka from Luggate via Ballantyne Road will be temporarily lifted this weekend to allow motorists heading to the popular Wānaka A&P show to travel largely unimpeded by the project.

The detour will then return and is expected to be in place until Friday, March 22, before opening again in time for Easter's Warbirds over Wānaka airshow.

In the coming weeks motorists can expect to see the two lanes heading to Luggate sealed, before finishing touches to landscaping and drainage on the road shoulders completes the project.

Between 2011 and 2020, one person has been seriously injured and 18 people left with minor injuries in crashes at this intersection, and there have also been 21 other crashes with no injuries. NZTA hopes the single-lane roundabout will provide a safer environment for all road users.

Meanwhile, just down the road, the Queenstown Lakes District Council is building its own roundabout at the intersection of local Ballantyne and Riverbank Roads, close to the Wastebusters facility.

Like NZTA, the council is preparing to manage traffic flows around the worksite for the two upcoming show weekends, to "keep things running smoothly".

This weekend, for the A&P show, Ballantyne Road will be open to two-way traffic, while Riverbank Road south will remain closed to all traffic other than residents and businesses. 

Over Easter, the intersection will be open as normal from midday Thursday until the following Tuesday. 

"We know there has been some frustration since the new detour was introduced on 19 February and we appreciate it can be challenging during these construction projects – especially when there is so much going on in Wānaka to improve the roading network," the council says in a project update also released today.

"Thank you for bearing with us so far. We’ll continue to work closely with affected businesses to support wayfinding signage to ensure customers know how to find you. This signage will be rolled out over the coming days."

The council says the project is going to plan.

"So far, we’ve completed enabling works to widen the road, and further earthworks along Riverbank Road south are underway. We’ve also started early work to improve drainage in the area and begun trenching to upgrade the underground services."

Main image (Supplied/NZTA): The new Mount Iron roundabout, from above, nearing completion, March 2024.


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