The construction of a roundabout to improve safety at the intersection of State Highway 1 and State Highway 5, south of Tirau is on target.
The Transport Agency have been working closely with the South Waikato District Council, local iwi and various Road Safety Partners to identify a suitable long term solution to address safety at this busy intersection, which has been the site of 45 crashes in the last five years (2008 to 2013) five of which resulted in 5 deaths and 4 serious injuries.
The Transport Agency’s Principal Safety Engineer, Michelle Te Wharau, says a public information day was held on Thursday 3 October in Tirau to allow the public to provide feedback on the proposed four-legged roundabout solution.
“Making this intersection safer for the community and passing motorists is vital, a four-legged roundabout is viewed as a more forgiving form of intersection that encourages travellers to slow when approaching. It is also easier for road users to navigate smoothly through and find their turn off without disrupting others,” says Mrs Te Wharau.
Mrs Te Wharau says that this intersection has a long history of crashes and despite improvements made in the last five years including installing additional standard and electronic signs and improved line markings, drivers are still finding this intersection challenging.
At present 11,500 vehicles per day travel through Tirau and the traffic splits to 8,000 continuing the trip south and 3,500 heading east to Rotorua.
“We have now had funding approved and are in the process of securing a contractor to construct the four-legged roundabout. We plan to commence construction in February next year.”
“We’re committed to reducing the risk of crashes at this intersection as part of creating a safer transport system through safer roads and roadsides, safer use, safer vehicles and safer speeds. We ask that motorists do their bit too by ensuring they travel at safe speeds, take extra care when turning, and remain alert for any unexpected vehicle movements. We can all work together and share the responsibility of reducing harm on our roads.”