Edendale Realignment

The Edendale Realignment is one of the most significant and largest projects to be undertaken by Waka Kotahi in Southland in the last 15 years.


  • New Zealand


  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Project Value

  • $1.1 million

Project Status

  • Contract start: April 2016. Expected Contract completion: February 2022

Prior to the realignment, State Highway 1 (SH1) passed through the northwest of the township of Edendale. Crossing two railway sidings, the highway transitioned from 100km/hr to 50km/hr, passed Edendale Primary School, and made a 90-degree right hand turn. An intersection provided access to the town’s shopping area and other amenities.

The safety and efficiency of this section of SH1 was affected by its various speed limits, road geometry and layout, along with rail crossings and heavy vehicles travelling through Edendale. The liveability of the township was impacted by through-traffic noise, especially from the relatively high number of trucks, which operated on this section of highway.

The situation was exacerbated by the impact of the Fonterra dairy processing plant being adjacent to the highway. As the largest dairy factory in Southern Hemisphere, the plant added to over 80 tanker truck movements per shift accessing the site. At peak times traffic, would often be backed up to the railway crossing impacting on travel times and representing a significant hazard.

Waka Kotahi’s vision for the project was to realign SH1 around Edendale township to reduce travel times between Gore and Invercargill, and improve safety from the increasing number of heavy vehicles using this road. The expected benefits of the project included:

  • Improved access and safety on Southland’s main freight route.
  • Road users no longer needing to travel through the combination of tight curves, intersections and rail crossings on the current section of highway.
  • Shifting highway traffic away from residential properties and the local Edendale Primary School.

Our solution

Our Invercargill team played an integral role in this project. Our working history of the area stems back to 2001, when we first undertook a Project Feasibility Report (PFR) on behalf of Waka Kotahi for identifying safety and efficiency improvements.

In 2016, we successfully tendered for the Edendale Realignment Contract for Professional Services. We were able to demonstrate our first-hand knowledge and background experience of the area. As the highway network consultant at the time, we also had intimate knowledge of the network’s safety and efficiency challenges.

We collaborated extensively with Waka Kotahi and their Property Consultant to work through the best way to progress the design. It was jointly decided to install safety barriers along the realignment instead of providing clear zones.

We provided added value to Waka Kotahi and their reputation through our coordination and control of inputs and outputs between Waka Kotahi and Fonterra. Examples of this include:

  • High levels of collaboration with Waka Kotahi and Fonterra during design to keep the roading reserve footprint as low as possible whilst lowering the impact the project had on farming operations.
  • Agility in providing additional resourcing to Fonterra during its two-month winter lockdown, including relocation services on land including pressure pipelines, high voltage power, data cabling and municipal water supply.
  • Balancing of expectations with requirements to balance stakeholder and community expectations with the requirements of the project. We facilitated workshops to give everyone on a voice on the final option.

Scope of services

  • Contract management
  • Pre implementation (detailed design)
  • Implementation (MSQA)