Drivers in the Wellington region can expect a new southbound variable speed limit (VSL) on the main highway into Wellington, which will help improve safety for motorists in the event of a crash, congestion or challenging weather conditions.
The VSL will run from the new State Highway 1 (SH1) Kenepuru interchange (on the new Transmission Gully motorway) and from Mungavin Avenue Interchange on State Highway 59, through to the SH1 Helston Road overbridge in Johnsonville.
“A variable speed limit allows us to safely slow traffic in the event of incidents on the road that may affect safety, such as a crash, poor weather conditions, or when there is congestion and traffic merging ahead,” says Waka Kotahi Operations and Maintenance Manager, Mark Owen.
The new speed limits are an extension to an existing VSL currently in place on SH1 between Helston Road and the Terrace Tunnel, to the southern end of Transmission Gully.
“We want everyone using our roads to get to where they’re going safely. Speed is always a factor in the severity of any crash and can be the difference between a person being killed, seriously injured, or walking away unharmed,” says Mr Owen.
“Being able to vary the speed limit is one of the many tools we have for keeping people safe on the roads. It’s a handy reminder that if you see a variable speed limit operating, there’s a reason that you need to immediately slow down.”
Electronic VSL signs are being progressively installed along SH1, with temporary static signs in place on the approach to the southbound SH1/SH59 merge at Linden for the time-being.
This work is part of an ongoing programme of improvements Waka Kotahi is undertaking to help people safely and easily navigate the state highway network, and keep them informed about any incidents, closures or delays.
The work includes additional electronic signage, and improvements to CCTV and monitoring capabilities so that Waka Kotahi can make sure the wider state highway network is operating safely and efficiently.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has also set new speed limits for sections of road that were built or realigned as part of the SH1 Transmission Gully project, including the northern and southern sections of SH59.
A table listing all speed limits which will be in place when SH1 Transmission Gully opens, along with related information, can be found on the Wellington network speed consultation page.