The upgraded intersection on State Highway 1 at Tarewa Road will be fully open to traffic on Monday, 2 November, completing the last of six Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency projects to improve SH1 through Whangārei.
The traffic lights will be switched on and vehicles will be able to turn right off the highway into Tarewa Road, says Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.
“Turning on the traffic lights effectively signals that the project is completed.”
“Waka Kotahi advises all road users to take care and go slowly in the first weeks until they are used to the changes and the new turning opportunities.”
The SH1/Tarewa Road upgrade will improve traffic flows, make the intersection safer and reduce queues during peak hours.
The project has replaced and widened the Otaika Bridge to four lanes. The new traffic lights make it safer for traffic turning right into Tarewa Road or turning left on to and off SH1.
For people walking and cycling, there are new signalised pedestrian crossings at the intersection and a new shared path under the Otaika Bridge. These provide safer, much-needed connections between the city centre, Whangārei Hospital and NorthTec.
“The traffic lights, the new lane layout and the shared underpass make the intersection safer and more efficient for all road users, whether they are moving about Whangarei or just passing through,” says Andrew Thackwray.
One change is that motorists won’t be able to turn right from Tarewa Road on to SH1. “This will improve the safety and efficiency of the intersection. A bylaw giving effect to a permanent ban is now in place.”
Meanwhile, local artist Benjamin Pittman is putting the finishing touches to a striking mural on the shared path under the Otaika Bridge. The mural was designed and painted with help from children from the Horahora Primary School.
“Waka Kotahi thanks local road users for their patience and understanding while the SH1/ Tarewa Road improvements project was completed. The changes now in place will make the intersection safer and more efficient for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists,” says Andrew Thackwray.
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