Safety upgrade for SH1 East Taupo Arterial


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be carrying out safety improvements on State Highway 1 East Taupo Arterial.

As part of the Safe Network Programme, $13 million is being invested to make a 12km stretch, between the Wairakei roundabout on SH1 and the State Highway 5 Napier/Taupo Road roundabout, safer.

The work includes widening the road shoulders to give drivers more room to recover if they lose control, installing flexible safety barriers down the middle of the road to prevent head-on crashes and roadside safety barriers where hazards can’t be removed such as power poles, trees and deep ditches.

Dave Van Staden, Portfolio Manager Delivery – Safe Network Programme, says the safety improvements will bring the road into line with current safety standards.

“These improvements will make the road more forgiving of human error, helping prevent crashes and making them more survivable if they do happen.”

Between 2010 (when the bypass road was completed) and September 2017, three people died and six people were seriously injured on this stretch of road.

Work is scheduled to start in early March and is expected to take around 18 months to complete, weather permitting. The work over winter will be weather dependant and will be done in small sections.

As the weather warms up, activity on site will ramp up and longer sections of the shoulder will be widened.

Once the road widening is completed, the road will be resealed across the entire width, new flexible median barriers installed, and new road markings applied.

Motorists can expect to see signs, cones, shoulder closures and a reduction in speed to ensure the safety of the road workers and road users. The focus will be on ensuring two lanes are open for traffic, unless it is not practicable or safe.

“The Transport Agency will do its best to minimise disruption from these works and thanks road users in advance for their patience.”

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Safe Network Programme

  • The Government has committed $1.4b over the three-year 2018-2021 NLTP period as part of the Safe Network Programme to make the country’s highest-risk highways and local roads safer.
  • The Safe Network Programme is made up of three components:
  1. roads and roadside improvements
  2. speed management
  3. level crossing improvements.
  • The Safe Network Programme aims to prevent 160 people from dying or being seriously injured every year across New Zealand’s highest-risk state highways and local roads.

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