Intersection earmarked for development

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Crashes could be reduced thanks to government investment in Cromwell.
An $8 million two-lane roundabout will be built at the intersection of SH6 and SH8B.
The investment was announced last week as part of an $88.25 million accelerated road investment plan by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

The funds were part of $300 million allocated for regional investment opportunities, Mr Jones said.
The intersection had experienced a high level of safety issues with serious injury crashes and the safety record had got worse over the last two years.
As the main road from Cromwell to Wanaka and Queenstown, SH6 had experienced increased tourism numbers as well as higher local growth, causing increased pressure on the intersection, he said.
‘‘The project is expected to contribute to the regional economic development plan as improvements will address the safety risks and improve traffic flows.’’

Officials from the Provincial Development Unit and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had worked to identify which roading improvements were ready to go but required funding.
“Some of the intersections we’re addressing are classed as high risk and need immediate attention,’’ Mr Jones said.
Roads played a ‘‘critical role’’ enabling regional economic activity and there were ‘‘challenging conditions’’ in the roading networks in several regions.
“I’m so proud to be prioritising the importance of the New Zealand upgrade programme that’s keeping our regions connected and, more importantly, safe,” Mr Jones said.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan welcomed the proposal and said the intersection had a well-earned reputation for being a danger spot.

NZTA system manager Graeme Hall said the aim was to award the design contract for the roundabout towards the middle of this year, with construction to begin by mid-2021 and potentially be completed by late 2021.