NZTA is beginning construction work on State Highway 2 between Wairoa and Bay View, including the State Highway 5 intersection, to make the road safer for all users.
The estimated cost of the project is $10.2 million and it is part of the Government's $600m Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme to prevent deaths or serious injuries on rural state highways.
There have been 21 deaths and 56 serious injuries in the 10 years to 2015 on SH2 between Wairoa and Bay View.
According to NZTA most of these crashes happened when drivers lost control and drove off the road or crossed the centre line and hit an oncoming vehicle.
Work will begin on widening sections of road shoulder, putting in a wide centre line and sections of safety barrier.
Regional systems manager Oliver Postings says the Wairoa to Bay View project is just one of several projects under way in the region.
"We know people make mistakes and we're making changes that are designed to give people a second chance on Hawke's Bay roads.
"The work we're doing, whether its adding rumble strips or safety barriers, is all proven to help prevent people from being killed or seriously injured."
Around 2000 vehicles travel the entire 104km stretch each day with up to 9000 using the Bay View end. The road is an important route for locals, freight and tourists.
Between Bay View and the airport work is under way on installing a southbound passing lane so people have a safe place to pass.
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Depending on weather, this could be complete as early as July, but could be delayed to October if the weather deteriorates. Once this is done, safety barriers will be put in place.
"Further south, we're also making good progress on making State Highway 2 Pakipaki to Waipukurau safer, with work now under way on the section between Waipawa and Waipukurau.
"This includes removal of the southbound passing lane, just south of Waipawa.
"We know people feel very strongly about this passing lane, but its location and length mean it doesn't meet safety standards.
"There will still be some places where slow-moving vehicles can pull over, so others can pass safely."
Other work under way on State Highway 2 between Pakipaki to Waipukurau includes installing flexible road safety barriers along the side and centre of the road in places, widening road shoulders and putting in rumble strips along the centre lines and edge lines.
"When fitted along the side and centre of the road, flexible safety barriers can reduce the number of people killed by up to 90 per cent.
"With all this work under way, some disruption for drivers and locals is inevitable. We'll do our best to keep this to a minimum, and really appreciate the co-operation and support we get from the community while we make our roads safer."