A much-anticipated completion of safety improvements at one of Hawke's Bay's worst intersections is nearing.

The intersection of Pakowhai Rd, Links Rd (State Highway 50) and the Hawke's Bay Expressway (State Highway 50A) was previously identified as the 19th highest risk in New Zealand based on crash data.

NZ Transport Agency regional transport systems manager Wayne Oldfield said changes to the layout would make it safer, more efficient for freight, and provide a vital link between the Hawke's Bay Expressway and the new Whakatu Arterial Link.

The roundabout was now operating in its final configuration, although traffic was still confined to one lane until completion of the safety improvements, Oldfield said.

"We have taken extra time to complete this work to allow for additional safety improvements including further road widening and the installation of a median wire rope barrier between the two bridges.

"Extending the completion date now to undertake the safety improvements avoids disruption at a later date," Oldfield said.

Temporary speed limits were in place and motorists were urged to take care as work continued on the approaches to the roundabout.