Christchurch's Russley Road/Airport gateway project

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Christchurch's Russley Road/Airport gateway project

Postby matthew25187 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:20 am

I was recently looking through the NZTA web site for this project and noticed the following statement with regard to the project's purpose:
Increased commercial and industrial activity, particularly in Hornby and at the airport, is creating more traffic and congestion at peak times. To ensure businesses based outside Christchurch are able to get their goods to and from the airport, the focus of the project is to four-lane SH1 from Belfast to the centre of Hornby to reduce congestion and improve safety.

If I remember rightly, one of the reasons cited for the cancellation of the Sockburn-Styx railway deviation project in the mid-1980s -- which would have run past Christchurch Airport -- was the belief that there wasn't then, nor was their any reasonable future prospect of, sufficient demand (traffic) to justify the construction of such a line. Now NZTA is effectively citing the exact opposite to justify this massive roading project (I'm hesitant to use the term boondoggle) instead! Was the Sockburn-Styx deviation really just a victim of the then (mid-1980s) move by the Railways to withdraw from localised freight handing, with the closure at around that time also of most remaining goods sheds and freight yards at smaller stations? Seems to me that if there really is enough freight in and out of the airport to be used as a justification for this project, that if the Sockburn-Styx deviation had been built, a rail freight facility at the airport could be quite workable, even with the construction of the Middleton rail freight facility in the late 1990s, especially with other similar facilities and services in operation around the country, e.g. the Woolston-Lyttelton port shunts and the Ports of Auckland shunts to the inland freight terminals.

Coincidentally (I'm sure), I noticed that the design of the Memorial Avenue overbridge precludes the possibility of the future resurrection of the Sockburn-Styx deviation, certainly on its originally proposed alignment, as that route will have an overbridge approach ramp on it (and with that arch feature over the bridge, can't really punch a tunnel through the ramp à la the now disused tunnel for the old Ngauranga Industrial Siding under the Ngauranga Interchange in Wellington). Neither could a railway line go under this new interchange, as the NZTA project site notes (FAQs) that sub-grade options for the interchange were examined but discarded because of possible contamination of a local aquifer and considerable additional construction and maintenance costs to deal with the high water table in the area.
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Re: Christchurch's Russley Road/Airport gateway project

Postby locost_bryan » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:05 pm

Is any air freight containerised for local haul? What facilities do the various freight companies have at Chch airport?

I do recall back in the '80s LWR packed jocks and socks into airtainers at their Montreal St warehouse for next day delivery around the country.
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