$25m bypass road to open

Opening imminent: Queenstown council's project boss Simon Brackstone on the new extension to Hawthorne Dr PICTURE: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

The first section of the long-awaited road linking Remarkables Park and Glenda Drive behind Queenstown Airport will open on Thursday.

The first sod was turned on the $25 million eastern access road project on November 3.

Queenstown Lakes District Council programme boss Gareth Noble says there remain just 0.5km of the road, known as Hawthorne Dr, to be constructed as part of stage two.

That section will extend the road past Glenda Dr to an internal roundabout by Pak’n Save on the Frankton flats and would be finished by December.

Mr Noble says the project is on budget.

“We’re doing a review of what our expenditure is as we speak to provide an updated forecast. But certainly we’re on budget. We’re tracking really well from a project perspective.”

Project boss Simon Brackstone says up to 60 Fulton Hogan staff have logged 48,000 man hours working six days a week on the first 2km section.

It has been a “significant” infrastructure project, particularly in relation to massive 1.8m-tall stormwater pipes, placed upwards of 7m deep in the ground, and the sewerage required.

The cement for the road had been mixed with gravels, meaning it is “fully stabilised”.

Landscaping and street lighting has also been installed, as have entrances to future internal roads for Remarkables Park.

Brackstone says the road will be governed by a 50kmh speed limit, with the exception of one 250m section at the Glenda Dr end which could not be sealed until spring. Until that time, it will be governed by a 30kmh speed limit.

The road will need to be closed for about five days in October for the final section to be sealed, he says.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult will open it on Thursday morning.

Otago Daily Times