Six high-risk roads in central and eastern Waikato are set to become safer for motorists, with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency installing rumble strips, better roadside signs and long-life line markings.
The work is part of a programme to make regional state highways safer through a range of low-cost, high-benefit safety improvements.
Waka Kotahi director regional relationships David Speirs says while traffic volumes may be lower on these roads, the risks for people travelling on them are real.
"Many deaths and serious injuries can be avoided by making relatively simple, yet effective, safety improvements.
"For example, rumble strips can reduce the total number of crashes by around 25 per cent and fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 per cent."
Improving safety on our roads is a priority for Waka Kotahi and this work is aligned to New Zealand's Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020 – 2030, which sets a target to see the number of people killed or seriously injured on New Zealand's roads, cycleways and footpaths reduce by 40 per cent over the next 10 years.
Work started on the first of the six stretches of road on March 22, on State Highway 5 between Webster Rd and Waiohotu Rd. Following completion of this work the team will immediately move to the Waiohotu Rd to Oturoa Rd section. In total, work on these two sites will take approximately three weeks to complete.
Work will be undertaken at night, between the hours of 9pm and 5am. During these hours the road will be closed for 45-minute periods, from on the hour until 45 minutes past. The road will then open for 15 minutes to allow traffic through, after which it will close for another 45 minutes.
Road users are encouraged to plan ahead, as it will not be possible to travel through the site when the road is closed. Outside work hours the road will operate as normal.
During this time alternative travel between Hamilton and Rotorua can be via State Highway 30 and State Highway 1 or State Highway 36, SH29 and SH1.
Traffic management for the remaining four sites will be shared before work starts.
Sites being upgraded are:
• SH5 – Waiohotu Rd to Oturoa Rd
• SH5 - Webster Rd to Waiohotu Rd
• State Highway 25 – Waitakaruru to Kōpū
• State Highway 27 - SH26 Tatuanui to Waharoa
• State Highway 2 – Mackaytown to Waikino
• State Highway 29 - Matamata-Piako boundary to SH28
Maintenance work in east Waikato
Resurfacing works will take place at a number of state highway locations around east Waikato after Easter weekend.
From Tuesday 6 April, and continuing through the remainder of the week, resurfacing work will take place at night on State Highway 2 in Paeroa, State Highway 26 in Morrinsville and SH26 in Te Aroha.
Resurfacing of the State Highway 27/Burwood Road railway crossing in Matamata is also planned for after Easter, and at various locations near Coromandel township later in April.
All of these works will be under stop/go traffic management and take place between 7pm and 5am. Motorists should expect short delays to their journey and are advised to allow extra time.
Final stage of SH2 Ngatea renewal works
The last stage of the SH2 Ngatea renewal, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown last year, will resume after Easter weekend and take up to four weeks to complete, depending on the weather.
This work has been scheduled for the end of the maintenance season to minimise disruption for the Ngatea community and businesses, and to allow Hauraki District Council to complete their footpath works.
A 360 metre section of SH2 will be excavated, a new road foundation constructed and asphalt surface laid.
For the duration of the works, eastbound traffic on SH2 will be detoured through Pipiroa, as this will allow the work to be completed quicker than if stop/go was used, NZTA says.
The shops in Ngatea will remain open and accessible to westbound traffic on SH2.