No bypass, but a Heavy Commercial Traffic route for Oamaru

Published on 09 December 2021

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Despite rumours of one in the works, a bypass for Oamaru isn’t happening – the cost would be monstrously prohibitive and exclude businesses from potential shopping traffic - but a heavy vehicle route is something council is looking into.

Heavy Commercial traffic are increasingly having concerns with road intersections. Oamaru has several particular intersections which are problematic. The challenges include traveling from State Highway 1 onto our local roads, or vice versa to get from A to B. Even traveling through Oamaru can be a challenge for over-size or over-weight loads, with weight restrictions on the Severn St Bridge and height limits on the Humber St rail bridge to contend with.

Waitaki District Council Roading Manager, Mike Harrison said, “Heavy Commercial Traffic (HCT) routes in Oamaru central are a key component of this information gathering. We will be talking to the freight companies about the preferred HCT routes, the limitations, future opportunities. This work is not about detours. Currently HCT travel through intersections such as Itchen Street and Tyne Street, where they are challenged by the current road layout and pedestrians. This intersection is a good example of the considerations that need to be made. Where would HCT move to if they did not use this intersection? Are there options and what effect would an option create?”

The Roading team have recorded what’s called a Network Operating Framework (NOF) document, after consultation with representatives from the wider community stakeholder groups. The NOF identified the current conflict points, including between different types of vehicles, and has offered areas where opportunities for improvement can be found. Surveys have been completed with commuter, walking and cycling groups and another research project is in progress at present. There will be more to come as the investigation trucks along.

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