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Bethlehem to Waihi Safety improvement

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Work to improve safety along State Highway 2 from Waihi Road to Bethlehem to start next week.

A known crash blackspot is set to become safer for road users, with the NZ Transport Agency beginning work to improve road safety along State Highway 2 from Waihi Road to Bethlehem.

The NZTA will begin work on the improvements next Monday, which include installing a wire rope median barrier, widening sections of the road and installing safety edge barriers. The improvements will help to reduce the risk of serious crashes, says Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon.

Mr Gliddon says a 1.1kilometre wire rope median barrier will be installed between Waihi Road and the top of the Bethlehem hill.  A flush (painted) median will continue from where the barrier ends to the SH2/Moffat Road roundabout.

“Wire rope barriers are extremely effective in preventing head on crashes which result in serious injuries and fatalities. When they’re struck, they absorb the energy from the vehicle , which helps to reduce the impact to the vehicle and its occupants. Ultimately, this can save both life and limb, which is what we want to achieve here.”

He says the stretch of road from Bethlehem to the bottom of Bethlehem hill (towards Tauranga) will also be widened to provide room for the wire rope and flush medians to be installed. 

The other safety improvement work includes installing 700 metres of safety edge barrier to both sides of the road from Tauranga to the top of Bethlehem hill.

“As part of our Safer Journeys strategy, we’ve adopted the Safe System approach which looks at all the combined factors that contribute to serious crashes – safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, safer vehicles and safer drivers,.  The factor which we are focusing on with this work is to make this road and roadside safer.”

The work will be undertaken over 14 weeks and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

”This is a busy stretch of road, so we ask drivers to plan their journey by allowing additional time for any delays caused by this work.”

Variable Message Boards will be in place this week providing motorists with advance warning of the work.

The NZTA’s website is regularly updated with information about most closures and detours at  www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link).  This information is also available by phoning the NZTA’s free phone on 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards.

Coincidently, drivers can now subscribe to On The Move which is a free service providing information about road closures, road works and driving conditions on their frequently used routes - to sign up, go to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link)

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