Final stage of Hawthorne Drive to open 21 December

IMG 5520
Dec 7, 2017

Christmas is coming early for Queenstown drivers with the official opening of Hawthorne Drive on 21 December.
Stage two will see Hawthorne Drive traffic rerouted away from Glenda Drive, taking a newly formed road past Pak ‘n Save and connecting with the section of Hawthorne Drive that is already in use.

Stage one of Hawthorne Drive via Glenda Drive was opened earlier this year to improve traffic flows and congestion issues over the busy ski season. This saw an immediate improvement to drive times between the BP Roundabout and Queenstown Airport, with peak travel times reducing from 10-20 minutes down to three minutes, a time saving of between 7-17 minutes for this stretch of road.

Mayor Boult is delighted about the effect this has already had on Queenstown’s traffic issues, “This roading link has been a long time coming and it’s fantastic to see it making such a difference to motorists. This is a step in the right direction and shows the impact right sizing our infrastructure can have on the day-to-day life in Queenstown.”

“This project has been carried out in exemplary fashion. It has come in on time and is tracking close to $750,000 under budget. Full credit must go to the teams from QLDC, Stantec and Fulton Hogan who have worked tirelessly to get this important route across the line.

“Combined with the new $2 bus and the opening of the new Kawarau Falls Bridge to two-way traffic this month, we should see considerable improvements to Queenstown’s traffic issues.”

Jim Harland, NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships, says it is great to see the progress made in Frankton over the past year with the second stage of Hawthorne Drive opening and the second lane across the Kawarau in time for the busy summer season. “Combined with the new $2 bus fares and the new Choice app, Queenstown residents and visitors have more routes around the Wakatipu Basin and more choices around how to travel on a daily basis now than ever before.”

The final stage of the project will see the Glenda Drive – Hawthorne Drive connection closed from 9 January until early February 2018 while a permanent junction between the two roads is created. Cyclists are asked to use the designated cycle path, which will be via Hawthorne Drive once the road is open.

The Glenda Drive park and ride facility on Brookes Road will be reduced to 25 spaces over the Christmas break to allow for increased airport demand. The Glenda Drive shuttle from the carpark will also stop operations between 22 December 2017 and 8 January 2018. This shuttle will cease operating when parking is progressively returned to Glenda drive over the later period of January with full parking reinstated by 4 February 2018.

“While there is still a great deal ahead of us, the momentum is beginning to shift in our favour. It’s certainly an exciting time for the Queenstown Lakes District,” said Mayor Boult.

A map showing the final Hawthorne Drive route is available here