The intersection of Winchester-Geraldine Road with Tiplady, McKenzie, and Coach Roads has long been a serious safety concern for Timaru District Council (TDC).
The intersection lies on the main route linking Winchester and Geraldine, known as Route 72 that was a former state highway, providing a shortcut between SH1 and SH79. It carries a steadily increasing number of local, commercial, and tourist traffic.
Being an unconventional five-armed layout with straight, rural high-speed approaches, the risk of a crash at the site has been significant. Over the past decade, eight crashes were recorded, three of them resulting in serious injuries to five people. Numerous near misses had also been reported by the community, and the intersection was known to be dangerous.
In 2021, Waka Kotahi partnered with Timaru Council to workshop what safety improvements could be installed to reduce risk on the road. This resulted in the $2 million rural roundabout being installed – a safe system intervention that will save lives and improve journey reliability.
This was the first SSI to be approved and funded in the South Island under the Safe Network Programme and received a TEFAR (targeted enhanced funding assistance rate) of 75%.
The immediate benefit from the project is a safer transport environment. This has been predicted to be at least a 60% reduction in the likelihood of crashes resulting in death or serious injury.