A welcome step forward for Otaki to Levin highway

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 10, 2019

The AA says local communities and drivers in the lower North Island will be welcoming the government committing to work to improve the highway from Otaki to Levin.

The government has announced that there will be urgent safety improvements along the current routes of SH1 and SH57 as well as continuing the process to define where exactly a new road will go in the future.

“Identifying exactly where the new road will go is a vital step for the communities affected by it and it‘s great to see the Government doing this,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The region needs a new, safe modern highway built and the people on the potential path of the road want to know how their property will be affected.”

Thomsen says the AA had been nervous about the project‘s future, so it was a relief to have funding committed and see it moving forward.

“The next step will still take some time but hopefully it happens as quickly as possible and the exact path the new road will take becomes clear in 2020. It would be great if this announcement was followed with similar progress on some of the other important highway projects around the country as well.”

The AA is also very pleased that there will be urgent safety improvements to the current Otaki to Levin highway, which has had one of the highest crash rates in the country.

“A new road is the long-term answer for allowing people and freight to travel safely and quickly but there is work that can be done right now to help reduce the chances of a crash on the current road,” says Thomsen.

“2018 was a horrific year for fatal and serious crashes between Otaki and Levin and improvements like barriers, wider shoulders, rumble strips and better road markings are proven to help reduce crashes on the road.”