Roundabout proposed

The location of the proposed Elles Rd/Bluff Rd roundabout. Photo: Sanda Jukic

THE public is invited to have its say about a new $3 million roundabout proposed for the Elles Rd and Bluff Rd (State Highway 1) intersection.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) intends to increase safety at the intersection and people are encouraged to bring their ideas to the South Alive Community Hub at the the South City Mall between 3pm and 7pm on Wednesday, September 27.

“We would really like to hear what [the public] think of the proposed design and any ideas [they] feel would make it even better,” an NZTA spokeswoman said.

The proposed project comes after NZTA recently identified the intersection as high-risk following “the high number of crashes [at the intersection] in the past five years”.

NZTA project manager Jason Forbes said in the past five years there had been three serious injury crashes, three minor injury crashes and one non-injury crash at the intersection.

NZTA also acknowledged 200 metres south of the intersection was another intersection with Lake St, which provided access to an industrial site for commercial vehicles and also crossed the railway line to Bluff.

Mr Forbes said the NZTA was looking at two different options to improve Lake St and whichever option was ultimately constructed would largely depend on the Invercargill City Council.

“The first option is to construct a three-leg roundabout at Elles Rd and a right turn bay at Lake St.

“The other is a four-leg roundabout at Elles Rd, where the fourth leg connects through to the existing Lake St – [in this scenario] we would then close the current Lake St intersection, as vehicles would enter and exit via the roundabout. This [second] option is dependent on the council as Lake St is a local road – they would have land, consenting, designation and funding to source in order to make it happen,” he said.

A train hit a logging truck on the Lake St rail crossing earlier this month, flipping the truck and separating it from its trailer.

A logging truck driver said at the crash site an accident had been waiting to happen at the Lake St crossing for some time, and as many as 100 logging trucks used the crossing daily, as well as stock trucks.

The NZTA spokeswoman said because of traffic growth, the Elles Rd and State Highway 1 intersection “required upgrading, making it an opportune time to improve safety at both intersections [Elles Rd and State Highway 1, and Lake St and State Highway 1] through a joint safe system solution”.

Road Safety Southland safety adviser Maureen Deuchrass said the proposed roundabout presented a range of benefits including a safer road for all road users in the vicinity of the intersection.

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