A North Canterbury MP is welcoming the opening of new motorway ramps at Kaiapoi, saying they will provide a gateway to draw visitors to the town.
The on and off northern motorway ramps, which cost $4.6 million, were officially opened on Wednesday at the State Highway 71/Smith St interchange on the north-west outskirts of the town.
Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson says the ramps will encourage visitors, and whether they stop for a meal or just to have a look around, some of that spending money will wind up in the tills of Kaiapoi retailers.
Ms Wilkinson says the ramps will also alleviate pressure at the Pineacres intersection to the north - "something that Kaiapoi residents have been concerned about for a number of years".
Waimakariri mayor David Ayers says the district council took the unusual step of contributing to a state highway project because it saw the ramps as a way of improving access between the Kaiapoi town centre and SH1.
"Central Kaiapoi was badly damaged by the September 2010 earthquake," Mr Ayers says, "and this much-improved access was seen as a way of encouraging passing traffic into the centre of Kaiapoi."
The ramps were jointly funded by the Transport Agency, the district council and a private development company, Clampett Investments.