This is a submission that I have written regarding the Russley Road, Christchurch, New Zealand four laning upgrade, with particular regard to the Wairakei Road intersection. It is written as a person who drives to/from work through the Wairakei Road intersection on a near daily basis.
I am writing to express my considerable concern about the construction of the Russley Road upgrade in New Zealand.
But before we start I would like to commend you on actually going ahead with this project. The congestion on Russely/Johns Roads has been substantial and it is not before time that this goes ahead.
However, your execution with the Wairakei Road intersection is fundamentally flawed. And contrary to your models, as a person who drives through that interection a dozen times a week going to/from work near the airport, I think you have grossly undervalued that intersection and the traffic flows through it.
Rather than the current proposal, I suggest you build an underpass with no left access to/from Russley Road. I further suggest that it be limited to small vehicles and 2 metres or less in height. Yes the water table is shallow, but I have reason to believe based on talking to people in the reconstruction of Christchurch that this can be done.
Wairakei Road has a lot of big trucks going up and down the stretch from to Russley Road that simply don’t need to be using that route. However people like me holding down service jobs near the airport at – in my case and several colleagues who live nearby – Avis/Budget Group, this is simply hands down the easiest and most direct route from our places of residence (Aorangi Road in my case)to work. This is also a route that would be considerably less congested between Wairakei Road and Russley Road if it had trucks taken off it.
On the whole I think your four laning is long overdue and I support it, but this intersection is an absolute mess and you can probably save quite a few dollars by simply building an underpass for small vehicles.