Bridging the A2 Route and State Highway 6

A2 Route – Shotover bridge to Frankton

The Lightfoot Initiative is working alongside community stakeholders such as Wakatipu High School, local resident associations, interested community members and local businesses to lobby for a safe crossing point over SH6 near Quail Rise and Frankton. For an overview, read our community information sheet and watch our video guide below.

This crucial route and crossing is the keystone to the entire active travel network. We think Waka Kotahi and the Way to Go group can do better.

After the January 2021 consultation on the Wakatipu Active Travel Network (WATN) closed, we had some huge realisations. This was in part caused by regular travel along SH6 and our observation of cyclists, walkers and bus commuters attempting to cross this insanely busy road near Hardware Lane. Mark Williams from the Queenstown Trails Trust agreed, and had in fact been lobbying hard with QLDC and Waka Kotahi to try and resolve the issue of this unsafe crossing. From our perspective – this crossing point sits at the heart of the future active travel network.

The proposals in the WATN Business Case emphasised the logic in developing the A2 route along Jim’s Way to maximise the height gained once the Old Shotover Bridge is crossed when commuting actively. This option funnels users towards the very narrow island refuge on SH6 opposite Hardware Lane. Too small for more than one bike, too narrow to hold an adult bike without angling it and free flowing traffic at 80 km/h. The island refuge is no good.

Upgrading the Jim’s Way (the A2 route) is logical, but the crossing is a hazard. Others agreed once we started questioning whether other solutions were possible. Our community engagement sessions ran throughout February and in March, QLDC and Waka Kotahi received written submissions from:

Residents of Quail Rise
The Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country Residents Association
Wakatipu High School
Arthur’s Point Resident Association
Remarkable Start Early Learning
A collective of Queenstown’s independent bike shop owners including: Bikeaholic, Alta, Vertigo, Outside Sports and Chargeabout

Together these groups represent thousands of locals who agree that a solution to the unsafe crossing was required. We heard from people struggling to get their kids across, frustrated teens who wanted to bike to school, and commuters who felt they were playing 80 Km/h Frogger, dodging cars, trucks and speeding bullets.

Local engineers and architects gave their time to help create a solution. Lightfoot and the Queenstown Trails Trust worked with Matt from Wyatt + Gray Architects, Tony from Holmes Consulting and Wendy from Stantec to identify a solution. The proposed bridge solution was presented to Mayor Boult, QLDC councillors and Chair Mike Theelen in early April for their consideration. There’s been some movement on the issue, with the proposed underpass shifting up a few notches on the grocery list of ‘potential spends’ but we await a real solution. 

So far we’ve received some updates from Mayor Boult who seems keen to find a solution. Waka Kotahi have proposed that an investigation of the bridge crossing of SH6 will be pursued within the next few months.