Safety improvements underway and more to come on SH16


A project to improve safety for road users on a stretch of rural State Highway 16 between Brigham Creek and Waimauku in Auckland is now underway.

The NZ Transport Agency initiative, is starting investigations to urgently reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from crashes on the route.

”We’re looking at ways to make State Highway 16 and its roadside more forgiving of human error, which will reduce the risk of crashes happening and limit their severity when they do,” says the Transport Agency’s Auckland and Northland Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon.

The project will introduce short to medium term solutions that help with safety and efficiency concerns on the stretches of highway that have a rural speed limit, ahead of other major infrastructure build projects which are being progressed in the longer term. It will also coordinate with projects in the Kumeu, Huapai and Waimauku urban centres along SH16 to ensure consistency in standards and treatment.

“The upgrades to the state highway will include intersections such as the Coatesville-Riverhead Highway intersection, and will also look at widening the centre line and shoulders, installing median and or side barriers, rumble strips, improved road markings and signage. Realigning curves and adding turning lanes are other options which will be considered.”

The Transport Agency is working under urgency to have all the solutions designed, consented and built over the next two years.

The project team will start meeting with community groups over the next two months to discuss the types of interventions that could be used.

Public open days are planned for the end of the year to showcase the draft designs and plans, with the aim of approving the draft designs by the end of the year, undertaking consent processes next year and starting construction in 2018.

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“We have already analysed and taken into account all of the feedback received from the public about issues on SH16 during consultation periods for other projects, including the events held recently for the long term Transport for Future Urban Growth project,” says Mr Gliddon.

“We understand the community concerns about this route and we are responding in a variety of ways to ensure any immediate improvements are carried out now, while we also continue to investigate medium and long term solutions for the route as a whole.”

The community will also notice a number of other immediate highway improvements underway this year, outside of, but complementing the project work:

  • Improvements are almost finished at the intersection of State Highway 16 and Trig Road in Huapai which will extend the 60km an hour speed limit by a further 100 metres, installing a new right hand turning bay and relocating a power pole.
  • Work is nearly complete on widening the intersection at Joyce Adams Place with plans for a guardrail to be installed.
  • Improvements at SH16 Kaihikatea Flat Road intersection have been completed. This included installing new guardrails at three locations to improve safety and help prevent vehicles leaving the road.
  • Between Pipitiwai Drive and Mt Rex, new signs and markings have been installed as well as the road widened and improvements made to the guardrail.
  • A right turn bay is scheduled to be built on SH16 into Weza Lane in the next year.
  • Speed advisory signs on the approach to Kumeu will be reviewed on bends along SH16/Coatesville-Riverhead Highway to Weza Lane in the next year.
  • A guardrail is scheduled to be installed within the next six months at SH16 Kiwitahi Road to reduce the risk of vehicles running off the road and onto the railway line.

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

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

For further information on the Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme: link).