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Work on $4.5M roundabout designed to improve safety around Hamilton Airport starts in January

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Work on a $4.5 million roundabout designed to improve safety and support future industrial growth around the Hamilton Airport will start in the New Year, the NZ Transport Agency says.

Work on a $4.5 million roundabout designed to improve safety and support future industrial growth around the Hamilton Airport will start in the New Year, the NZ Transport Agency says.  

The four-leg, two-lane roundabout will replace the intersection of State Highway 3 (Ohaupo Road) and State Highway 21 (Airport Road), south of Hamilton. 

It will be built by Schick Construction and Cartage Ltd, with work starting in January. The project is expected to wrap up in May. 

The roundabout has been designed to provide a safer entry to and from Airport Road (SH21) and nearby the Titanium Park Joint Venture development, which has contributed significantly to the project cost. 

It will also improve traffic flows to the nearby Mystery Creek Events Centre and Fieldays site. 

The Transport Agency’s Waikato highway manager Kaye Clark says traffic using the intersection will be switched on to a temporary road and intersection near the work site while the roundabout is being built. 

“People will have noticed that work on the temporary road is under way. Having traffic away from the construction site is safer for all and gives the contractor the space to get started,” she says. 

There will be speed restrictions in place from early January until the roundabout is complete, and people travelling to the airport should factor in a few extra minutes as traffic could occasionally be held up. 

“Improving safety is a big driver in this project,” Mrs Clark says. “The SH3/21 intersection has been the scene of 24 crashes, including five fatal or serious injury crashes, in the past five years. 

“Most of the crashes at this intersection over the past five years involved right turns into and out of SH21. 

“Roundabouts naturally slow traffic and reduce the chance of head on or side impact crashes, which can be the cause of death or serious injury if someone makes a mistake on the road. 

“Our data shows that changing a T- intersection to a roundabout reduces death and serious injury crashes by 90 per cent, while the total number of crashes reduces between 25 to 80 percent.” 

Future industrial grow around the airport business zone is the other driving force. 

The roundabout, initially designed as single lane but now two lanes, will form part of the Southern Links roading network which includes a grade-separated interchange at this location. 

SH3 and SH21 Intersection improvement

SH3 and SH21 Intersection improvement (view larger file [PDF, 3.7 MB]).

A roundabout will:

  • Reduce the number and severity of crashes
  • Improve trip reliability
  • Improve congestion at peak times
  • Support the economy and agreed land use patterns
  • Be freight-friendly

The roundabout is designed to fit in with Southern Links alignment for SH3. 

For tips on how to use various types of roundabouts go to: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-driving/giving-way-at-roundabouts/

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