A fatal crash at Hamilton's Thomas Rd/Gordonton Rd intersection has prompted the city council to fast-track the installation of traffic lights a month earlier with works to begin in September.
Two weeks ago Jayden Peter Braniff, 23, was killed in a two-vehicle crash at the
Council staff have begun work on a traffic management plan in preparation, with the speed limit on that stretch of Gordonton Rd reduced to 30km/h with immediate effect.
The chairman of the council's growth and infrastructure committee, councillor Dave Macpherson, said the tragic event on July 20, where a young man lost his life, has further highlighted the risks are too high if people make a mistake.
"We know this is a busy intersection and the council has been working on making it safer and to date has implemented a series of safety measures.
"There are already electronic 60km/h speed signs which are activated when vehicles are turning in the intersection, and a large number of traffic cones and other warning devices on approach to all legs of the intersection.
"However, these have now been supplemented with the installation of two variable message boards," Mr Macpherson said.
Funding for a signalised intersection was approved in June during the council's 10-Year Plan process with construction scheduled to begin October 1 with completion by December.
The council's general manager development group, Chris Allen, says site preparation work for the upgrade was due to start this September. The council is now looking at bringing this forward by one month.
"Preparation work will require the council to introduce a traffic management plan which will provide an immediate temporary reduction in the speed limit and provide safer road conditions for road users in the area," Mr Allen said.
"The speed limit will be reduced to 30km/h while the teams are out undertaking work near the road and a 60km/h speed limit will be set for after hours.
"We understand for some people these changes have taken a long time, however it's
important to understand this is a transformational change to the intersection and we must get it right.
"Our transportation and development teams have been working hard on fast tracking this work since the beginning of the year, it takes time to confirm things like funding, land purchasing, design development, safety audits and understanding and implementing utilities services relocations.
"A signalised intersection is the preferred option rather than a roundabout as it offers improved safety via better intersection control and traffic flow management, it is safer for people on bikes and is quicker to implement," says Mr Allen.
The council wants to remind road users while work is happening there will be an increase in congestion on the network so extra care will be needed in the area, slow down, drive to the conditions and look twice for other road users.
Public hearings were held this week for the council's proposal to improve safety along
Gordonton Rd, between Wairere Drive and north of Thomas Rd, through a permanent reduction of the speed limit to 60km/h.