Waka Kotahi NZ Transport will soon start construction on safety improvements to State Highway 57 (SH57) in Levin, with the aim of preventing deaths and serious injuries from crashes on the road.
The safety improvements for the section of SH57 between State Highway 1 (SH1) and Heatherlea East Road were first announced in July 2020 and are part of the Ōtaki to north of Levin programme, which also includes the development of the new highway.
Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says SH57 will continue to be an important local road in the future.
“There have been 11 crashes resulting in deaths and serious injuries on this section of SH57 in the last five years, so it’s important we tackle the safety issues on this road ahead of the new highway, which is currently scheduled for opening in 2029.”
To prevent further crashes, Waka Kotahi is building a roundabout at the Queen Street/SH57 intersection, to slow approaching vehicles and make it easier to choose the right time to enter flowing traffic. Roundabouts can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured at busy intersections by up to 65 percent.
Painted wide centrelines and stretches of side barriers will also be installed between the SH1 intersection and Heatherlea East Road. The existing road seal will be widened to accommodate these improvements.
The public will start seeing people on the site of the Queen Street/SH57 roundabout from this week, with construction and preparation work starting on Monday 10 May. This work includes removing existing streetlights and power poles, preparing drainage and the construction of temporary roads.
A temporary road will remain throughout the construction of the roundabout, to the west of the current intersection to accommodate traffic. The eastern connection to Queen Street will be diverted via another temporary road north of the current intersection while a connection will be retained for pedestrians and cyclists through the site.
The installation of the wide centrelines and side barriers on SH57 will begin at the SH1 intersection in early July, and will be undertaken in sections from there to the Heatherlea East Road intersection.
Waka Kotahi contractors will be in touch with adjacent property owners about any potential impacts on their access while this work is completed.
Temporary speed limits will be in place during the construction of these works.
In the coming weeks, the speed review of SH57 will move to formal consultation. Waka Kotahi will be sharing a proposal based on technical assessments of the road between the SH1 intersection and Shannon. Proposed speeds are based on what is deemed safe and appropriate for the road and also take into account community feedback from last year’s safety improvement engagement.