An 800 metre stretch of State Highway 1 through the Dome Valley will have a new flexible wire rope median barrier installed to improve road safety before Christmas.
The work will begin on Sunday night, 20 December to install 300 galvanised steel posts along the road centre line. Work will continue on Monday night, with the flexible wire rope installed and tensioned on Tuesday night. The existing road has been widened to allow more separation of traffic.
“The flexible wire rope barrier is a critical safety improvement on this busy section of state highway, especially with holiday season traffic ramping up. It’s very pleasing to add this new feature to improve safety and prevent head on collisions before such a busy time on our roads,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.
There are also additional roadside barriers to “catch” vehicles running off the road.
When a vehicle hits a flexible wire barrier the high-tension wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle and redirecting it away from the hazard. This flexibility means that the barrier absorbs impact energy, reducing the force on the people in the vehicles, resulting in less severe injuries than other safety barrier systems and from collisions with roadside hazards or other vehicles.
The wire rope barrier will be installed along the central median between Christine Place and L Phillips Road (Sheepworld), north of Warkworth.
There will be stop/go traffic management from 7:00PM to 5:00AM each night to create a safe working environment.
“The traffic management will allow one lane to be closed, ensuring the safety of the work crews and road users. We will be monitoring the queues and minimising wait times as much as possible,” says Andrew Thackwray.
“Waka Kotahi apologises for any inconvenience and advises road users to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys. The work is being done at night to minimise disruption for freight movements and the travelling public.”
As well as the median safety barrier, safety improvements in the Dome Valley include widening the existing road, embankment reshaping and construction of right hand turn bays.
The project started in early-2019 and is expected to be completed in late-2021. The work is split into five stages along the 15km section of SH1 from Wellsford to north of Warkworth. The section past Sheepworld is in Stage 2 of the project which will be completed before Christmas.
There will be 2.2km of wire rope barriers along the central median installed in the New Year south of Wayby Valley Road to complete Stage 4 of the project.
Stages 3 and 5 began earlier this month and include the construction of retaining walls and soil nailed walls to stabilise the roadside embankment on either side of the road summit. Both stages will be completed towards the end of 2021.
Construction work in the Dome Valley will shut down from 23 December to 5 January to minimise disruption for Christmas holiday traffic. There will be a temporary speed limit of 70 kph through the Dome Valley over the holiday period.
“Drivers can expect uneven road surfaces, temporary safety barriers and narrower lanes in places. Plan ahead, allow extra time, be patient and drive to the conditions.”