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Corner of Blakes & Shands Road, Prebbleton, Canterbury
|The Blakes & Shands Road Intersection Upgrade was undertaken primarily due to its notorious reputation as one of Canterbury’s most dangerous intersections. Recognising the urgent need for enhanced safety measures, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) allocated funds to undertake significant improvements.
The upgrade aimed to tackle the alarming rate of fatalities and accidents caused by high speeds and heavy traffic at this location. As part of the comprehensive upgrade, an embankment was created from a privacy fence, allowing for improved visibility and better traffic flow. By addressing these critical issues, the landscaping and safety enhancements sought to create a safer and more efficient intersection for all road users.
The primary goal of the Blakes & Shands Road Intersection Upgrade was to enhance the overall appearance and functionality of the intersection while minimising maintenance requirements. To achieve this, the project planners aimed to implement low maintenance plantings, such as caryx, which could quickly establish themselves in the soil that was known for harbouring tenacious weeds. This would not only complement the intersection’s upgrades but also provide an aesthetically appealing view for both passing traffic and nearby residents.
|The Blakes & Shands Road Intersection Upgrade project faced two significant challenges that required an innovative solution. Firstly, the high traffic volume at the roundabout and the steep slope posed a considerable risk for the maintenance teams, making it essential to carefully plan and execute the upgrade without having to constantly maintain it. Secondly, the intersection’s steep gradient presented a problem for using conventional bark mulch for weed suppression. The steep incline could lead to erosion and difficulties in maintaining the mulch in place.|
|Advance Landscape Systems worked with Evergreen Landcare to choose the best products to enhance the landscape and promote sustainable practices. The chosen approach involved the implementation of 1000gsm EcoWool secured with biodegradable weedmat pins called Biopegs. This innovative combination provided vital moisture retention during dry summer months and insulation during the colder months, ensuring the survival and growth of the seedlings. Additionally, as the EcoWool was needle punched to 1000gsm, this contributed to its prolonged durability, significantly reducing the necessity for frequent maintenance. By utilising this earth-friendly solution, the upgrade not only enhanced the intersection’s aesthetics but also showcased a commitment to environmentally conscious initiatives by Evergreen Landcare and Advance Landscape Systems.|
|The Blakes & Shands Road Intersection Upgrade has proven to be a resounding success with full canopy closure being achieved and an embankment with full growth, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the intersection EcoWool was installed in November 2021 and almost 2 years later is still biodegrading while suppressing the weeds. This achievement serves as a valuable lesson for consumers looking into wool products. When considering wool, it is critical to discuss the grams per square metre (gsm) and quality of the material. Opting for high-quality wool ensures durability and prolonged life, and saves time and money in reducing a need for maintenance.|