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Drivers urged to reduce speed at Te Rapa roundabouts

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging drivers to reduce their speed as remedial work gets underway today to improve the design of roundabouts on State Highway 1 (SH1) at Horotiu, north of Hamilton.

The NZTA's, Waikato Expressway Principal Project Manager, Richard Young says the work will involve reducing the 'crossfall' on some sections of the roundabouts in order to improve safety for heavy trucks.

The crossfall is the gradual slope of the road from the centre of the roundabout to the curb. The NZTA has identified that in some sections of the Te Rapa roundabouts the variability of these slopes are causing issues for trucks travelling at speed.

Mr Young said this variability can be difficult to identify during construction, particularly in complex areas where the roads join the roundabouts.

"While this is a relatively minor issue in itself, when combined with higher than desirable truck speeds, it poses a potential risk which much be addressed. The remedial works getting underway today will resolve the issue."

Work will be carried out on three roundabouts on SH1 at Horotiu (in May) and one on Te Kowhai Road (in April), to reduce the crossfalls.

The work will be phased over about two months to minimise disruption to motorists using SH1.

 "One lane of the roundabouts will remain open to keep traffic moving through the sites and reduce delays, and we would like to thank the public and the trucking industry in advance for their patience and co-operation," Mr Young says.

The Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway is being built under an Alliance between NZTA, Opus and Fulton Hogan.  The project is running five months ahead of schedule. The additional work at the roundabouts will not delay the opening scheduled for late 2012.

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