Work is about to begin to make State Highway 3, from SH37 to Te Kuiti, safer for everyone who uses it

22 Sep 2017, 10:48 AM

Almost $6m will be spent adding side barriers to high risk locations, and improving some intersections.  Rumble strips will also be added to the middle and sides of the road in some places.

The NZ Transport Agency Transport Systems Manager Karen Boyt says there have been two deaths and nine serious injuries on the road between 2005 and 2014.

“Most of these were caused by vehicles running off the road and hitting trees, poles or deep ditches or head-on collisions,” Ms Boyt says. “Intersections along the road are dangerous because they have drainage ditches, trees, embankments, fences and utility poles close by.”

Work on making the road safer is scheduled to get underway later next month (Oct) and will be finished mid-next year. Survey and investigation work has already been completed.

“We have been speaking to the community about these changes and will continue these conversations as design progresses,” Ms Boyt says.

This is one of four projects on SH3, together worth $25m, to improve the safety of the highway between Hamilton and Te Kuiti. The section of the road between Ohaupo and Te Awamutu will also be completed next month (Oct). Work gets underway on two other sections, between Hamilton and Ohaupo and Te Awamutu and Otorohanga, later next year.

SH3 is the main commuter link, linking Hamilton with other parts of the King Country. It is also the main freight route between Hamilton and Taranaki and is also used by tourists travelling to the Waitomo Caves and south to Taranaki.

The government is investing $600m over six years, targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over the next decade.

The Safe Roads and Roadsides programme aims to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured on our rural roads. Around 1500km of rural state highways throughout the country will be made safer through relatively simple measures, such as rumble strips, shoulder widening, safety barriers and better signage. 

The improvements will make roads more forgiving of human error, help reduce crashes happening and will limit their severity if they do happen.