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Otago Peninsula Road Upgrade




Dunedin City Council

Peninsula Road

Dunedin City Council (Council) engaged Morrison Low to investigate potential options to expedite the Otago Peninsula Road Project. The Peninsula Road is an iconic, scenic drive that traverses the southern edge of the Otago Harbour. The scope of the Peninsula Road Project includes the construction of a new sea wall, construction of widened road surfaces, provision of a shared cycle and pedestrian space and related safety improvements for all road users. The Project is co-invested by Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).


Progress on the widening of the Peninsula Road has already been made; with eight separate sections of the road having already been completed. Constrained by Council’s funding ability, the staged construction of the remaining sections was programmed in the DCC Long Term Plan (LTP) over an 8 year period, which was not the most efficient means of implementation. By accelerating the Project’s funding over a 3 year construction period, Council were of the view that significant economic, travel time, social and environmental benefits could be achieved sooner, whilst also providing real cost savings to both funding parties.

Morrison Low was engaged to undertake a comprehensive economic business case for the acceleration of both Council and NZTA’s funding share. The scope of the study involved an investigation of a wide range of complex risks and issues which needed to be solved to realise a practical solution. Morrison Low’s team of nationally recognised experts provided Council with the knowledge and expertise to analyse the impediments, benefits, risks and costs associated with the options for investment decision in the 2015/16 NLTP and the DCC 2015 LTP. The Morrison Low team brought practical engineering, roading, economic and financial modelling expertise to achieve Council’s requirements to this multifaceted Project.

The subject areas investigated were:

  •  Project revenue sources
  • Supplier resource capacity and availability
  • Construction materials sources and capacity
  • Advanced procurement strategy
  • Programme sequencing & scheduling
  • Resource consenting
  • Construction impact on community and tourism
  • Risk assessment
  • Project Implementation

The study concluded that the acceleration of the remaining sections of the Peninsula Road was achievable, and significant savings in the order of approximately $3m could be achieved due to the efficiencies related to Project acceleration. The favourable outcome of the study was welcomed by both Council and NZTA, with both funding parties agreeing to accelerate their portion of the overall Project cost. A critical component attributed to the success of this Project was the key NZTA relationships that Morrison Low was able to provide Council.

The construction period is now programmed to commence this year, with the benefits being realised progressively over the next 3 years rather than the original 8 year programme.  Following on from the original study, Morrison Low has been assisting Council with project governance, execution and procurement requirements.

Project contact:  Ewen Skinner