The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to make State Highway 2 safer between Waipawa and Waipukurau, with safety improvement work beginning on the section this month.
From 2006 to 2015, 13 people were killed and 62 were seriously injured on State Highway 2 between Pakipaki and Waipukurau.
The work to improve the safety of the road will include the removal of the southbound passing lane, just south of Waipawa.
The decision to remove the passing lane was announced by the Transport Agency in July 2018, after an investigation found it was increasing the crash risk for people using the southern Tapairu Road/State Highway 2 intersection.
Regional Transport Systems Manager Oliver Postings says this is a simple change that will reduce the risk of crashes on the road.
“The decision to remove the passing lane wasn’t made lightly and we know that some road users may feel inconvenienced, but our priority has to be the safety of everyone using the road,” Mr Postings says.
“The passing lane finishes just after an intersection, making it dangerous for people to get on and off the highway at Taipairu Rd. It’s also very short as it is, so making it end before the intersection is not an option. The safest action we can take is to remove it.”
Other work underway on this road includes installing road safety barriers along the side and centre of the road, widening road shoulders and putting in rumble strips along the centre lines and edge lines.
At the southern Tapairu Rd/State Highway 2 intersection, a new right turn bay will be created to make it easier and safer to turn into or out of Tapairu Rd.
The safety improvements are expected to be completed by the middle of the year.
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