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Project introduction

Safety improvements on State Highway 1 (SH1) from Taylors Road to the SH57 intersection include a new roundabout at the SH1/SH57 intersection, stretches of edge and median barriers, wider centrelines and turnarounds. Plus, a review of the speed limits on SH1 from Taylors Road to Kawiu Road.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements, Speed review
  • Project status


Proposed safety improvements

We know how important it is to improve safety on SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin. Following feedback from the community earlier this year, we have refined our plan for infrastructure improvements (changes to the road) make this stretch safer.

Early improvements package – Kuku section – December 2021

Update 7 December 2021: Rainy weather means that this work cannot be completed before Christmas. Our contractors will now stop work, make the site safe and put a temporary speed limit of 80km/h in place through the work area. They will return early in the New Year to finish the work.  

We have considered which parts of the plan can be brought forward to make the road safer ahead of the 2021 summer holiday period.
Early improvements between Manakau and Levin, through Kuku, will be delivered in the coming weeks. By resurfacing the road and changing the line markings between the Tatum Park conference centre and Ohau Rail Overbridge we will:

  • Permanently remove the passing lanes in both directions. The short length of the northbound passing lane and right turn bay at the end of the southbound passing lane are putting people at risk.
  • Provide a painted wide centreline. This creates greater separation between vehicles travelling in opposite directions
  • Provide wider road shoulders. This will help provide places where slower vehicles can pull aside to let others pass.
  • Improve the road surface. This will improve the grip of the road for vehicle tyres.

We will also add safe hit posts (flexible marker posts) to the centreline of the road in some places. These help make the road lanes clearer to drivers by providing an additional visual cue on the centreline. These will be placed to avoid impacting places where people need to turn across the centre line into driveways.

These changes are needed to make SH1 safer for everyone who passes through it. The work has been brought forward so that it can be completed before the busy summer travel period.

We acknowledge that road works can be disruptive for people who live near the road and for those passing through. Thank you for your patience.

If you have any questions about this work you can contact us on or 0508 625 4636.

Longer term plan

We are also continuing with our wider safety improvements plan. Subject to funding, next year we expect to complete further improvements including new median barriers and turnaround points between Ōtaki and Manakau, a new roundabout at the SH1 / SH57 intersection, and further work on the Kuku section to improve road curves and add side barriers.

All of this work, and our safety improvements to SH57 are intended to make the road safer while we plan the new Ōtaki to North of Levin highway project. Construction of the new O2NL highway is expected to begin in 2025.

Delivery timeline for safety improvements



Ōtaki (end of PP2Ō Expressway) to Manakau

Manakau to Levin

December 2021

Early Improvements Package (Kuku Section)


Resurfacing (resealing) the road and changing road markings between Ohau Rail Overbridge and Tatum Park conference centre:

  • Remove the passing lanes
  • Provide a painted wide centreline
  • Provide wider shoulders

Adding flexible marker posts on the centreline in some areas.

Improving the driveway entrance to Tukorehe Marae.

Target start Mid-2022

Main Improvements Package

Wire-rope centreline barriers from the end of the new Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway, with three turnaround areas:

  • Gleeson Road
  • South of Pukehou Rail Overbridge
  • North of the new PP2Ō Expressway

Improving curves by reshaping the road camber in unsafe locations.

Side barriers to protect from roadside hazards.
Improving the driveway entrance to Wehi Wehi Marae.

Upgrading the SH1 / SH57 intersection with a safer roundabout.

These safety improvements fit within the existing highway corridor and are designed to transition traffic off the dual-lane, median separated Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō) expressway onto the single-lane SH1 north of Ōtaki. The Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is expected to open in late 2022.

In 2022 we also plan to consult the public on changes to speed limits between Taylors Road in Ōtaki and Kawiu Road in Levin.

Safe speeds

Alongside the infrastructure safety improvements, we are reviewing the current speed limits on SH1 between Taylors Road and the 50/70 change north of Levin – just beyond Kawiu Road. This is to make sure the speeds are safe for the road.

Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured or walks away unharmed.

As a busy state highway with both high-risk intersections and rural residences it is important the speed limits on SH1 reflect the risk on the road. Engagement with the community helps us get feedback and local knowledge on how you use the road and your concerns. This feedback helps us determine if a speed limit change is the best thing to do to improve road safety, where any proposed new speed limits would begin or end, and if any other safety improvements are needed.

Current speeds in the area under review
Location Posted speeds SH1 Average speeds SH1
Levin town centre 70/50 change to Levin south 50/80 change 50km/h 50km/h
Levin south 50/80 change to Bishops Road 80km/h 79km/h
Bishops Road to North Manakau Road 100km/h 89km/h
North Manakau Road to south of Honi Taipua Street 80km/h 80km/h
South of Honi Taipua Street to north of Waitohu Valley Road 100km/h 87km/h

SH1 south of Levin community engagement

We sought feedback in July and August 2021 on the proposed safety improvements on SH1 between Taylors Road and the SH57 intersection. These improvements will make the corridor safer in the meantime, while work progresses to deliver the new Ōtaki to north of Levin highway within the next decade.

We asked your thoughts on the current speed limits on SH1, between Taylors Road and Kawiu Road. This feedback will help us determine if a speed limit change will improve safety.

You can still view what others had to say on our interactive map:

View online feedback(external link)

An enagement summary is available for viewing:

SH1 Ōtaki to Levin safety improvements and speed engagement report [PDF, 10 MB]

Project Contacts

Ōtaki to north of Levin project team –
More contact info
  • Phone: 0508 625 4636
  • Alternatively you can write to us:
    Ōtaki to north of Levin Project Team
    Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Level 5)
    Private Bag 6995
    Wellington 6141