Locals invited to find out about safety improvements planned for SH5 in Waikato

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 18, 2018

State Highway 5 at Waiotapu

The NZ Transport Agency is holding a series of drop-in sessions next week (23 to 26 October) to talk the community through planned safety improvements on State Highway 5 between Wairakei and the State Highway 5/State Highway 38 intersection, near Rainbow Mountain.

Construction of the northern section is due to start by the end of the year with work on the other two sections planned to get underway on the central and Wairakei sections in late 2019/early 2020, funding permitting.

Rob Campbell, an NZTA transport systems manager, encourages locals to come and speak to the team and share their views or give feedback online.

“Locals know the road better than anyone so it‘s important we talk to the community about our plans to ensure we‘ve got it right. We‘ll use the feedback we get at these sessions to refine our designs.”

This route is a key link for freight, tourism and local communities but too many people are being killed and seriously injured on the road,” he says.

Between 2006 and 2015, twelve people died and 42 were seriously injured in crashes on this road. Many of the crashes were head-on collisions or involved vehicles running off the road and hitting roadside hazards like trees, ditches and fences.

Campbell says the NZTA is focusing its safety improvements on three sections of the highway (a total of 23km in length) where there are more crashes than on the rest of the road: the northern end, towards SH38, centrally (around Mihi and the Waikato River) and at the southern end, at Wairakei.

Safety improvements could include rumble strips, wide centrelines, widened road shoulders and roadside barriers to reduce the risk of vehicles crashing head on and running of the road and hitting a bank or ditch. Signage will also be reviewed along the route to ensure drivers are warned of upcoming hazards.

In response to community concerns, the NZTA is also investigating reviewing the speed limit through Waiotapu as part of this project and expects to be able to consult on this shortly.

Find out more and give feedback here: www.nzta.govt.nz/sh5-wairakei-to-sh38

The draft safety improvement plans will be discussed at open days in Taupo, Reporoa and Rotorua.

Session times and locations

Tuesday 23 October 5pm to 7pm: Reporoa War Memorial Hall, Broadlands Road, Reporoa. Bring the kids along for a free soft serve ice cream.

Wednesday 24 October 12pm to 2pm: Taupo District Council, 46 Horomatangi Street, Taupo.

Thursday 25 October 12pm to 2pm: Te Manawa, Tutanekai Street, Rotorua.

Friday 26 October 2.30pm to 4pm: Mihi School Hall, 76 Springs Road, Reporoa. Bring the kids along for a free soft serve ice cream.