Transport officials plan Napier Rd safety improvements

Traffic lights are planned to improve safety at the Napier Rd-Roberts Line intersection.

David Unwin/Stuff

Traffic lights are planned to improve safety at the Napier Rd-Roberts Line intersection.

Safety concerns on State Highway 3 heading east out of Palmerston North have prompted transport officials to decide traffic lights should be installed at the busy Roberts Line intersection.

The lights are expected to make it safer for all traffic, especially cyclists and pedestrians, from Kelvin Grove wanting to cross SH3-Napier Rd to get to the Manawatū River shared pathway.

There will be a pathway beside the highway from Roberts Line to Sutton Place to complete the off-road route.

NZ Transport Agency director of regional relationships Emma Speight said the decision to make improvements came after reviewing public feedback. That consultation happened in August 2018.

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Money had been released for the detailed design and consenting work, which would go out to tender shortly, while a budget was still to be secured for the actual construction.

It could be six to 12 months before the designs were completed.

The agency said it had decided to give priority to the Roberts Line intersection, while it would continue to monitor the other intersections on the 3.4 kilometre stretch of SH3-Napier Rd from Keith St to Stoney Creek Rd.

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Heather Shotter said the plan would help answer concerns people had held for many years.

The improvements would help overcome the safety problems that had arisen as urban development stretched out towards Ashhurst, while the road still had a state highway role.

City councillor Leonie Hapeta, who lived in Kelvin Grove until recently, said the decision on traffic lights was fantastic news.


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Transport infrastructure improvements for Cork, Dublin

A €215 million upgrade of the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork has been approved by Government in advance of Budget 2021 .

Dunkettle interchange is a road junction in east Cork City, forming a junction between the M8, N25 and the N40. Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton described the upgrade as “vital” for Cork city and region.

The appointment of contractor Sisk to carry out the the upgrade had been delayed for over a year as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was not satisfied with initial bids.

It is understood TII saved more than €40 million in putting the project out to tender for a second time. The figure of €215 million includes land costs.

The project involves putting in place an interchange just north of the Jack Lynch Tunnel to allow traffic travelling north-south on the M8 and traffic travelling east-west on the N25 move freely in either direction freely with slip roads providing links between both major arteries.

Dunkettle Interchange is the only remaining project in the National Roads Programme scheduled to go to construction this year, although the Government will today announce progress will continue on a number of schemes, funded under Budget 2021.

Work is expected to begin three more schemes in 2021. These are:

the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue in Co Roscommon
the N69 Listowel Bypass in Co Kerry
the N59 Moycullen Bypass in Co Galway

N11 pause

However doubt hangs over the progression of key projects such as the proposed M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, the Galway outer ring road and N11/M11 improvements, all of which which require ongoing planning funding in today’s budget.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has already said he would pause the expansion of the N11 through the Glen of the Downs, in Co Wicklow. However M11 improvements between

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