NZ Upgrade on South Island roads

Published: Feb 28, 2020

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  • News and announcements
  • Canterbury
  • West Coast
  • Otago

Safety and climate change resilience are behind South Island regional roading projects that are being brought forward as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

As part of the NZ Upgrade, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities.

We have announced $88.25 million on a nationwide major accelerated road investment plan with construction able to get underway on some projects by the end of August.

The South Island investment is about $25 million with six projects selected from West Coast to Canterbury.

The Provincial Development Unit and New Zealand Transport Agency have worked together to identify which roading improvements are ready to go but required funding.

This investment is expected to contribute to regional economic development while providing safer roads, safer bridges, and easier-to-access stopping points.

Some of the intersections are high risk and need immediate attention not helped by the climate change chaos caused by regular flooding from the Kakanui River flood plain in the South Island’s Otago region.

The funding will be used to raise a 200-metre section of the State Highway 1 north of Kakanui River and South of Oamaru where a series of culverts will be installed to reduce risk of road closure. This spot on State Highway 1 is regularly closed for up to two days at a time due to flooding events.

Roads play a critical role in enabling regional economic activity and several regions’ roading networks exist in challenging conditions.

The New Zealand Transport Agency will contribute $1 million for operational resource support to deliver the projects on deadline.

South Island roads receiving funding

West Coast

  • SH 67 Granity Seawall — $3.6 million
  • SH 6 Tatare Bridge Franz Josef Safety Improvements — $1.5 million
  • West Coast State Highway Single Lane Bridges - Safety Retrofit — $5 million


  • SH 1 north of Kakanui River/ South of Oamaru – Improving Flood mitigation — $2 million
  • SH 6 - SH8B Junction Cromwell – Intersection Upgrade — $8 million


  • SH 8, 79, 80 MacKenzie Basin, Pull-Over Areas — $5 million