Wānaka warned: 'lengthy' detour as through-road closes

by Kim Bowden - Jan 22, 2024

Wānaka motorists are preparing for yet another route disruption as a popular through-road closes for a month from today.

A letterbox flyer drop by the national transport agency was the first some Wānaka residents heard of the closure of Riverbank Road, from the junction with States Highway 84 and Six through to Ballantyne Road.

While people who live on the road will be able to enter and exit it from Ballantyne Road, adjacent to Wastebusters, no traffic will be able to turn on and off from the highway.

Although the New Zealand Transport Agency issued a media release highlighting the four-week closure earlier in January, some locals still in holiday-mode missed the traffic update, returning home after time away to the news in their letterboxes.

The agency is advising motorists seeking to avoid the Wānaka CBD to travel via Ballantyne Road as an alternative route.

NZTA journey manager Nicole Felts admits the proposed detour is a lengthy one.

“We acknowledge this may be disruptive for drivers and that the road also offers easy and convenient connections to Wanaka’s wider road network making it popular with locals,” she says in the media release.

She advises people to allow extra travel time.

Meanwhile the Queenstown Lakes District Council will tomorrow make good use of the road closure by kickstarting its own new local roundabout project, at the Wastebsuters' corner.

In a public announcement, it says throughout construction temporary traffic lights will be operating at all lanes entering the Ballantyne and Riverbank Roads intersection, so as much of the road as possible can remain open while construction crews work.

A key focus of the project will be improving the intersection for different transport modes, and a new footpath and raised safety platforms will be installed.

QLDC plans for the busy Wānaka intersection near Wastebusters (Image: QLDC).

The latest roading construction projects are on top of several others creating traffic delays for Upper Clutha motorists in recent weeks, with local councillor Cody Tucker telling Crux last week people can expect some "short term pain for long term gain".

The Riverbank Road closure is likely to be in place until Friday, February 23.

Main image: A letterbox flyer drop by the New Zealand Transport Agency informing local residents of the four-week road closure.


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