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New flexible road safety barriers for high-risk Christchurch highway

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New flexible road safety barriers that help stop head-on crashes and save lives will be installed on State Highway 74/QEII Drive between Innes Road and Burwood Road from this week.

Side barriers

Side barriers already installed.

The barriers are part of a $2.5 million NZ Transport Agency road safety project* on track to be finished in June.

The project includes barriers down the side and middle of the road, road widening and high-performance road marking that make it easier to see at night and in the dark.

The Transport Agency’s Transport System Manager Pete Connors says the safety barriers will make a real difference as many of the crashes on the stretch of highway are head-on or run-off road.

“Flexible road safety barriers ‘catch’ vehicles that leave their lane before they hit something less forgiving – like other vehicles or trees, poles and ditches,” Mr Connors says.

“When a vehicle hits a barrier, the wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle and keeping it upright during and after a collision. The barrier absorbs the impact, reducing the force on the people in the vehicle.

“The new barriers down the middle of the road will help prevent head-on crashes while the side ones we have installed will help protect people using the nearby shared path.”

Over the past few months Higgins Contractors have widened the road shoulders and installed side barriers down the high-risk stretch of road. Crews are now laying asphalt, and installing barriers down the middle of the road over the next two months.

New road markings that are easier to see at night and when it’s wet will also be put in place.

There will be changes to the road layout and speed restrictions between Innes Road and Burwood Road until mid-2019.

People travelling through the site are urged to drive with care around road workers and allow an extra five minutes travel time to get through the site.

More information on the SH74 Marshland to Burwood project is available at: www.nzta.govt.nz/m2b

*This project is part of the Government’s $1.4 billion Safe Network Programme, a collaborative initiative that aims to save up to 160 deaths and serious injuries every year across New Zealand’s highest risk state highways and local roads: www.nzta.govt.nz/safe-network-programme

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