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Final link in Christchurch’s eastern ring road to open 29 April

24 April 2003

The final link in Christchurch’s eastern ring road is to be officially opened on Tuesday morning (29 April) and open to all traffic from midday.
The last part of the network, south of the Avon River from Eureka Street to Birch Street, completes the expressway corridor from Main North Road at St Bedes College to Dyers Road and on to the Tunnel Road and Lyttelton.

The $16 million roading project included building a 50m three-lane bridge over the Avon, which opened in September 2001.
With the expressway’s completion, it is expected that Transit NZ will make it State Highway 74. At the moment SH 74 gives access to the port from the north through the central city.

Work on the final piece of the puzzle started in July last year. What was made was a two-lane road south of Bexley Road with a cycle and pedestrian pathway on its south side. A roundabout at Pages-Bexley was removed and traffic lights have been installed where the new expressway crosses Pages Road.
City Councillor Denis O’Rourke says the work has created an efficient and safe road for heavy traffic linking the Port of Lyttelton to the state highway system.

“ It completes the ring road system Christchurch has needed for so long,” Cr O’Rourke says. “The new expressway relieves pressure on local streets that were not designed to carry arterial traffic, such as Bexley Road, ” Cr O’Rourke says.

“ It’s also one of the city's most attractive arterial roads. The City Council is proud to have achieved this with assistance from Transfund and Transit New Zealand. ”

The job involved the permanent closures of the expressway ends of Eureka, Carisbrooke, Bexley, Brook and Birch. Also made was a park-like area opposite Carisbrooke Street, with the riverbank changed to make it easier to get access to the water and other work done to help reduce the effects of flooding. The existing cycleway along the riverbank has been kept. Final landscaping around the new section of road is not due to be finished until July.

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