The NZ Transport Agency’s contractors will begin safety improvement work at the State Highway 1 / State Highway 79 intersection at Rangitata, from 12 June.
“A number of traffic incidents have been observed at this intersection, in particular where northbound traffic exiting the Rangitata to Upper Orari Bridge Highway (SH79) onto the Rangitata to Hinds Highway (SH1) fails to give way and cuts in front of oncoming traffic travelling at open road speed,” says Transport Agency Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.
“In order to improve the safety of the existing road layout, the exit off the Rangitata to Orari Bridge Highway, between the rail crossing and State Highway 1, will be narrowed with concrete kerbing, new Give Way signage and pavement marking installed to encourage traffic to Give Way until access onto the main highway is clear.
“The new layout will effectively change State Highway 79 into a single left turn out /right turn lane in,” says Mr Knaggs.
The design takes into account the turning movements of heavy vehicles and truck and trailer units to ensure drivers can still easily manoeuvre the intersection, he says.
The new layout will not alter the existing level of service, nor cause any significant delays. It will take about a week to install the new layout and there should not be any significant traffic delays while the changes are going in place.
This work is an interim safety improvement solution whilst the design for a more extensive intersection upgrade is progressed. Improved safety at busy rural road intersections is a component of the Safer Journeys(external link) road safety strategy action plan.