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Plans for SH23 safety improvements up for discussion at open days

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The NZ Transport Agency says people can find out more about safety improvements planned for State Highway 23 (SH23) between Hamilton to Raglan, and provide feedback, at two information days next week.

The open days, on August 25 at the Te Uku Hall and the following day at the Whatawhata Rugby Sports Club, are both from 3pm – 7pm.  People can attend anytime between these hours.

A range of safety improvements, which aim to reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries on the road, are being proposed as part of the Government’s $600 million Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme.

Possible changes include shoulder widening, rumble strips, side safety barriers, widened centrelines and intersection improvements.

The Transport Agency’s Road Safety Programme Director Kaye Clark says SH23 is classified as a high-risk rural road.

Over the past decade five people have died and 64 people have been seriously injured in crashes on the route.

"Our aim to is to reduce the number of deaths by creating a safer road for those that live and travel along it," she says.

"The safety changes will make this stretch of highway more forgiving of human error, helping to reduce the amount of crashes in the first place and limiting the severity when they do.”

The most common types of crashes on SH23 are vehicles crossing the centreline, crashing head-on, losing control on bends and running off the road and running into ditches or hitting hazards such as trees and power poles.

“Driving too fast for conditions is a common factor in many crashes on SH23, so we’d also like to talk to the public about what they think of the speed limits on the road,” Mrs Clark says.
“We’d like to find out if people think the speed limits are about right, or if they have other ideas around speed management they would like to share with us.

“It’s important that we get input from the community, especially those who regularly use the route, those who travel along the side roads that come off the highway and Raglan motorists, as this will help us refine the design so that it works for everyone."

SH23 has been divided into three stages under the project– Hamilton to Highbrook Way, Highbrook Way to Waitetuna and Waitetuna to Raglan. The second section (Highbrook Way to Waitetuna) is still being analysed to see what safety improvements are appropriate.

The Waitetuna-Raglan improvements are scheduled to be completed in spring/summer next year, and work will begin on other sections of the highway late next year.

SH23 Hamilton to Raglan project overview

The project is part of a $600 million nationwide road safety programme to help bring down the country’s road toll.

The Government’s Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme will see safety improvements made to more than 90 high-risk sites on rural State Highways in 14 regions.

The safety upgrades will target causes of crashes by including a mix of road improvements, realignment of corners in some areas to improve visibility, side barriers, median barriers, rumble strips, wide centrelines, road marking and improved signage.

The work will be carried out by the Safe Roads Alliance on behalf of the Government.

The Alliance is made up of Transport Agency staff, infrastructure consultancies Beca, Bloxam Burnett and Olliver (BBO) and Northern Civil consulting.

To find out more about the Safe Roads Alliance and other projects go to: www.nzta.govt.nz/sh23-hamilton-to-raglan

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