Review coming as arterial worksite runoff closes Queenstown CBD road

by Kim Bowden and Lauren Pattemore - Mar 04, 2024

Work continues on Queenstown's $128 million bypass road despite environmental planning at the project site falling short this morning.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council says a review will be completed after rain washed gravel and silt down Ballarat Street, closing a section of the road.

In a statement at 11.30am, a council spokesperson says Ballarat Street has been cleaned and is now open.

What went wrong this morning with environmental planning at the arterial road worksite in central Queenstown?

"A review will be completed shortly to establish what measures are required to prevent this reoccurring."

In a statement a little after 9am, QLDC property and infrastructure boss Tony Avery confirmed the debris flow stemmed from the arterial road construction site.

He said Ballarat Street was already closed uphill of Stanley Street before Henry Street for the ongoing works, and the section impacted was a short stretch that had remained open to allow access to two small car parking areas on council land.

An employee at Brazz Steakhouse Bar and Grill told Crux that when they arrived at work this morning for the restaurant’s 9am open, the mess was mostly already cleared up, with just a small puddle and some mud remaining at that intersection of Ballarat and Athol Streets.

"It hasn't affected business, which is good."

Road workers sweep gravel and silt from outside Brazz Brazz Steakhouse Bar and Grill on Monday, March 4, 2024.

Another eyewitness at the scene told Crux they saw water and debris flowing down the street first thing this morning. 

The arterial road project is being delivered by Kā Huanui a Tāhuna, an alliance formed by the council and the New Zealand Transport Agency, along with two construction companies and two design companies, Downer NZ, Fulton Hogan, Beca and WSP.

Workers from the alliance were redeployed to clean-up duties this morning, as two diggers also worked to remove the construction runoff from surroundings streets.

Earlier this morning the New Zealand Transport Agency corrected a Facebook post saying the road closure was the result of a "landslide".

Rain has eased in Queenstown after earlier MetService issued an orange rain warning for the Otago headwaters.

Main image (NZTA and QLDC): Diggers have now cleared gravel and silt from Ballarat Street, after rain washed it down from the arterial road worksite, Monday, March 4, 2024.

Read more: Arterial road runoff shuts Queenstown's Ballarat Street


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