Safety upgrade coming for SH51 Napier to Hastings


Work will get underway early next year on a $20m safety upgrade for SH51 between Ellison Street/SH51 intersection in Napier and the Ngaruroro Bridge.

The safety improvements for SH51 are part of the $2.9 billion Road to Zero programme, aimed at significantly reducing deaths and serious injuries across New Zealand through infrastructure safety improvements such as the installation of life-saving median and roadside barriers, the construction of new roundabouts, intersection safety upgrades and safety improvements to high-risk road corridors, in addition to the introduction of safer speed limits as well as targeted Police enforcement of unsafe driving.

Road to Zero(external link)

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge says the SH51 safety improvements will be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 work will get underway in February 2023, and will include:

  • A flexible median barrier installed from the Awatoto Road intersection to the Waitangi intersection
  • Construction of a temporary roundabout at the Awatoto Road intersection
  • Widening between Awatoto Road and just south of the SH51/Ellison Street intersection
  • Changing the SH51/Waitangi Road intersection to one-way ‘in only’ to improve safety at the rail level crossing
  • ‘Left in left out’ treatments for existing beach accesses and businesses (road users will be able to use either Waitangi Road or Awatoto Road (temporary) roundabout to turn around if they need to).

Phase 2 works, likely to begin in late 2023, will involve:

  • Construction of a permanent roundabout at the Awatoto Road intersection
  • Installation of flexible median barriers for most of the section between Awatoto Road and just south of the SH51/Ellison Street intersection
  • The installation of side barriers.

“These safety improvements will save lives and prevent serious injuries on this section of highway. The works build on previous work done in this area to date to make this road safer for everyone. It has been a journey and we are excited to make it happen,” Mr Partridge says.

The section of State Highway 51 between Napier and Hastings has been identified as a high-risk corridor, with 15 people dying or being seriously injured since 2019 between Ellison Road and Ngaruroro Bridge.

The SH51 safety improvements project is due for completion by the end of 2024.

SH51 Napier to Hastings safety improvements project page