Have your say on making Waitomo Caves intersection safer tomorrow


The NZ Transport Agency is reminding the local community and wider public that tomorrow (Thursday 29 August) you can have your say on the Agency’s four options to improve safety at the intersection of state highways 3 and 37 near Waitomo.

The public open day is being held at The Big Apple, SH3 (just north of the Waitomo intersection) between 2.00 pm – 7.30 pm, this Thursday, 29 August, 2013. 

“The project team will be on hand to discuss the proposals and answer any questions people may have,” says The Transport Agency’s Principal Safety Engineer, Michelle Te Wharau.

Mrs Te Wharau says the four options that the Agency will be seeking feedback on are:

  • Option 1(external link) - An offset T-intersection layout with head-to-head right-turn-bays on SH3 for both SH37 and Mangarino Rd.
  • Option 2(external link) - Similar to Option 1, but includes a left-turn slip lane out of SH37.
  • Option 3(external link) - A roundabout at SH3 / SH37, and a T-intersection layout with a right-turn-bay for Mangarino Rd.
  • Option 4(external link) - A roundabout at a new location approximately 60 m north of the existing SH3 / SH37 intersection.  This would require a realignment of the end of SH37 to improve its link to SH3. This option also includes a right turn bay for Mangarino Road.

Mrs Te Wharau says this road has become more challenging as use of the intersection has risen. “Traffic volumes passing through this intersection have steadily increased over time, with a current annual average of 6,500 vehicles per day (SH3); 1,300 per day (SH37) and 450 vehicles per day (Mangarino Road).

Mrs Te Wharau says the Transport  Agency hopes to be able to let people know the outcome once feedback has been assessed and other relevant processes have been completed.  “This likely to take until November. Until a solution is confirmed and construction can begin, the interim improvements to improve safety at this intersection installed over the last year will remain in place, as will the temporary speed limit of 70 km/h.”

Details on the four proposals and a feedback form will be made available at the open day venue, at local libraries; council offices; cafes; and Waitomo attractions.

“ On that date we’ll also make these documents available on the Transport Agency’s website at www.nzta.govt.nz/consultation/waitomo(external link); or they can be ordered by emailing waitomo.intersection.upgrade@nzta.govt.nz or phoning 07 958 7220,” says Mrs Te Wharau.

The closing date for public feedback will be 5.00 pm on Thursday, 12 September, 2013.