NZ Transport Agency Regional Highways Manager David McGonigal says motorists at the intersection currently face frustrating delays, particularly during rush hour. The project will reduce average waiting times and help the intersection run more smoothly.
"This is one of the busiest intersections in Palmerston North, and it feels the strain during rush hour. This project takes a multifaceted approach to improve traffic flow."
"The benefits won't just be felt by people at this intersection - by improving traffic flow at this spot, then we can create flow on benefits for motorists using surrounding roads."
"We'll have crews working during the day, but we'll endeavour to work at night for the jobs that have the biggest impact on traffic."
"To keep disruption to a minimum we'll have all traffic lanes open during peak hour, and lane closures will be in place during off-peak times."
"We ask motorists to stick to the posted speed limit - even if it feels a bit too slow for comfort - because we all have a responsibility to keep road workers and the public safe."
"Once we're done, motorists will notice that this intersection works more smoothly, which will help to do away with the guesswork and frustration when you're trying to get to work on time. Like all major roadworks projects, there will be some delays from time to time and we thank the public for bearing with us over the next few months."
The project will involve installing an extra lane for through traffic, and dedicated left and right turn lanes on all legs of the intersection. The traffic signals will also be upgraded to improve their timing and phasing.
The work will be carried out in stages, starting with the construction of the left turn facilities by Coronation Park and progressing around the remaining corners of the intersection.
The work will be closely coordinated with Palmerston North City Council.
Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says he is pleased the work will finally be getting underway.
"I compliment NZTA for listening to our concerns. The intersection is one of the busiest in the region and has been a real bugbear for motorists for years. This project will do much to improve the traffic flow at peak times. I urge drivers to be patient and keep their speed down while the work is being done," he says.
The Council will also be taking advantage of the work by replacing water mains in Rangitikei Street, meaning the road won't have to be dug up a second time.
Work begins next week and is scheduled to be completed by April next year.
The work will be carried out in the following stages:
• A phased construction of left turn lanes at each corner and relocation and upgrading of affected services
• installing a footpath on the western side of Rangitikei from Tremaine Avenue to Bennett Street
• widening the road, constructing new footpath, berms and kerbing in Tremaine Avenue from Konini to Rangitikei
• installing water mains in Rangitikei Street
• upgrading the traffic signals
• putting down a new road surface
• replacing the trees.
Each stage will be completed as quickly as possible and opened for use to minimise disruption for road users.