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Project introduction

This project will improve safety for road users on the stretch of State Highway 1 from Whangārei to Wellsford.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status


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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is making safety improvements on State Highway 1 from Whangārei to Wellsford as part of Road to Zero, Aotearoa’s road safety strategy.

Road to Zero adopts Vision Zero, a vision for Aotearoa where no-one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes, and where no death or serious injury while travelllng on our roads Is acceptable.

The project covers 79km of SH1 connecting the Northland and Auckland regions and will be delivered as three separate projects:

Our vision

The project is being delivered as part of Road to Zero, Aotearoa's road safety strategy, to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on New Zealand’s roads.

Road to Zero is guided by the Safe System approach which remains the international gold standard in road safety.

It recognises that while mistakes are inevitable, deaths and serious injuries from crashes are not. The Safe System approach seeks to create a safe and forgiving road system that makes the safety of people a priority.

Road to Zero sets an initial target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s roads, streets,cycleways and footpaths by 40 percent over the next 10 years.

Our work

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is making safety improvements on State Highway 1 from Whangārei to Wellsford. These improvements will include wider centrelines, flexible median (centreline) barriers, side safety barriers and rumble strips. These works are being undertaken as part of Waka Kotahi’s speed and infrastructure programme.

To make the project manageable, the 79km corridor of state highway from Whangārei to Wellsford has been divided in three – we call these sub-projects the Northern, Central and Southern sections.

Each section has its own character due to terrain, road conditions and usage, nearby urban areas and other factors. The particular safety improvements for each section have been designed to meet the specific conditions found there. Improvements will include:

  • Rumble strips that cause sound and vibration when driven over, giving drivers a warning if they stray across their lane.
  • Wider centre lines that create more space between oncoming vehicles. A wider centre line can give drivers more time to react and can help prevent a crash if someone makes a mistake.
  • Flexible median barriers that help prevent head-on crashes, which is how most people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
  • Side safety barriers that stop your vehicle before you hit something harder - like a tree, power pole or oncoming vehicle.
  • Widened road shoulders that provide room to recover if you lose control or need to take evasive action.

Project map

Project sections

Click on a tile below (maps indicative only) to view more information about each section.