Part of a $600 million nationwide road safety programme to help bring down the country’s road toll, the State Highway 23 improvements will cost over $23million.
Improvements include centreline rumble strips, sections of roadside safety barrier have been installed between Waitetuna and Raglan and road widening in other areas for more sections of roadside safety barrier to be installed.
One slow vehicle bay on SH23 will be added between Waitetuna and Raglan, off the westbound lane, towards Raglan.
This has yet to be signposted and NZTA are continuing to investigate what other areas may work as additional pullover areas for slower vehicles and how to utilise signage to encourage better use of existing and any additional slow vehicle bays.
The current stage of works between Waitetuna and Raglan is expected to finish later this year and any further stages of safety improvements between Waitetuna and Raglan will likely begin in 2019.
At Te Uku, NZ Transport Authority are planning to underground several power poles in order to widen the road across from the shops and school in order to install a painted median in the centre of the road.
The median is designed to visually reduce the width of the road to encourage motorists to observe the speed limit through Te Uku as well as providing room for traffic turning into the Te Uku School and store.
A NZTA spokesperson says they will investigate the speed issues raised by the Te Uku petition once it has been received.
Due to community feedback around safety at intersections, NZTA are also resurfacing the Waitetuna Valley Road intersection and the SH23 curve with high friction asphalt surfacing and at Te Mata Road roadside banks will be trimmed back to increase visibility to the east.
Some utility service investigation and geotechnical testing on SH23 between Hamilton and Highbrook Way is expected to get underway in the next few months to help finalise design details for safety improvements to be constructed in 2019. These are expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
NZTA will update the communities along State Highway 23 in the coming months.