People can find out more about safety improvements planned for State Highway 3 between Ōhaupō and Te Awamutu at an information session this week.
The community can call in to Te Rahu Hall in Te Awamutu on Thursday 25 February anytime between 2pm and 7pm to view the proposed plans for the road and provide feedback.
The proposed safety improvements, which aim to reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries on the road, will be delivered in two stages. Stage one of the project, scheduled for construction in April, includes the installation of side barriers and a new section of widened centreline. In Stage two, due to be constructed next year, sections of median barrier will be installed along the route.
The project will be delivered by the Safe Roads Alliance, a New Zealand Transport Agency initiative tasked with delivering safety improvements on the country’s state highways.
Safe Roads Alliance Director, Andrew Scott encourages the community to attend the information session to learn more about the project and provide feedback on the draft design.
“It’s important that we get input from the community, especially those that live along the route, as this will help us refine the design so that it works for everyone," Mr Scott says.
“This is a busy route with over 11,000 vehicles travelling it each day. As the population increases, this number will only rise, increasing the risk of crashes occurring.
“In the past 10 years, there has been a high number of crashes on this road. There’s been eight deaths and 16 serious injuries. Our aim is to reduce the number of deaths on this road significantly by creating a safer road for those that live and travel along it,” Mr Scott says.
The Transport Agency takes the ‘Safe System’ approach as they work towards the Government’s goal of reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads.
The Safe System approach looks across the entire road system to improve safety - that means making roads and roadsides safer by removing trees and power poles, it means encouraging people to buy the safest car they can afford, it means encouraging safer speeds and it means stamping out dangerous behaviour like using a phone when driving.
It also recognises that people make mistakes and are vulnerable in a crash, and aims to reduce the price paid for a mistake so crashes don't result in death or serious injuries.
The Safety Alliance was established to deliver a programme of road and roadside safety improvements to the New Zealand’s state highway network over the next six years.
The work will focus on making physical engineering changes to the road and the environment around the road to reduce the likelihood of a crash resulting in death or serious injury.