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Rangitata intersection made safer

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From Wednesday 9 September, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be activating an Intersection Speed Zone in South Canterbury’s Rangitata at the intersection of SH1 and SH79, to help prevent deaths and serious injuries from crashes.

Installed in June this year, the Intersection Speed Zone uses electronic signs to detect when someone is turning into or out of SH79 and will temporarily reduce the speed limit on SH1 from 100 km/h to 60km/h.

“When you see the signs in action, please slow down to the limit shown,” says Jim Harland, Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships. “This will reduce the risks around this intersection, preventing crashes and saving lives.

“Intersection speed zones are proven to work in New Zealand and overseas.”

The Intersection Speed Zone is part of a package of work that will make this intersection safer, says Mr Harland.

In 2019 barrier arms, lights and bells were installed at the railway level crossing near this intersection, and the crossing surface was made safer.

This year, a team widened the road shoulder on SH1 around the intersection, installed an escape bay near the level crossing and removed power poles. An escape bay is used in places where there is a risk of traffic backing up over a rail crossing and gives drivers a space to move into if they get blocked in on the rail line.

Improvements to the SH1/ SH79 intersection are part of Waka Kotahi’s  Safe Network Programme, delivering safety improvements on high-risk routes across New Zealand to make roads more forgiving of people’s mistakes. The programme focuses on safe roads and roadsides, safe and appropriate speeds, and safe level crossings.

Read more information on the Safe Network Programme(external link)

Rangitata intersection

SH79 is the Rangitata-Orari Bridge highway, through to Geraldine.

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