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Safety improvements between Bay View and Paki Paki gaining momentum

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Safety improvement works aimed at preventing deaths and serious injuries on the Hawke's Bay Expressway are nearing the halfway point, with most sites on the expressway expected to be completed by February next year.

The NZ Transport Agency has completed works on three sites between Longlands Road and Omahu Road, with another four underway and three beginning construction in the next few months.

Senior Project Manager Rob Partridge says median barriers have a huge impact on improving safety on our roads.

"Already there have been a number of strikes on the barriers around the Pakowhai Links roundabout which had the potential to be head-on crashes resulting in death or serious injury."

For the section of State Highway 2 between Longlands Road and Paki Paki, the Transport Agency will be holding a second community engagement session in late September to discuss the proposals to make the road safer.

This will be based on the feedback from the first engagement session late last year and will help the Transport Agency firm up the detailed design. Physical works are scheduled to begin in March 2020.

"With the winter season now in full swing there are some activities that need to wait until the warmer months," Mr Partridge says.

"This includes the work between the Hawke's Bay Airport and Bay View, where completion of the pavement work on the southbound side has been put on hold until September/October.

"We will however be completing work on the northbound side over the next few weeks, with side barriers and markings. People who travel the route regularly may have noticed that that the lanes are often being shifted. This is standard practice to bed in the chip seal evenly on the new road."

The Transport Agency expects traffic to be travelling at normal speeds on this new section of highway by the end of October. At this stage the median barrier will not be installed until April 2020 after the second coat chip seal is laid.

"This is a significant investment into the safety of the main route of travel through Hawke's Bay. Works of this scale take time and we thank the community for their patience. In the end, we will have a much safer road that many in our community use on a daily basis," Mr Partridge says.

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