Long road for residents

Queenstowners Kerry Dunlop, left, and Greg Thompson have proved patience pays off

A Quail Rise resident who lobbied for improvements to safety and congestion issues at a notorious intersection near Frankton says getting the project off the ground’s been a long time coming.

It’s almost been five years since Greg Thompson first floated using an existing underpass at the Shotover Bridge, on State Highway 6, and building a single-lane slip road to connect to the Frankton-bound lane of the highway.

NZ Transport Agency eventually bowed to public pressure for action on the increasingly-dangerous intersection last year.

Work on the $6.4 million project started in September – it’ll be officially opened at 11am this coming Monday.

Thompson says the new road will make it safer for everyone.

“You had to do a right-hand turn across two lanes, and it was taking longer and longer to get out, and you were taking more and more risks to get across. It was an incredibly dangerous intersection because of the increasing traffic volumes and the speed limit down the hill was 100kmh, although they later changed it to 80kmh.”

The long-time resident spent many years asking roading officials to consider the solution.

At one point, he circulated a letter of support, which was signed by more than 400 residents.

Thompson says he’s looking forward to an easier daily commute.

“I think everyone will be pleased, and we’ll all feel a lot safer, which is really what this was about.”