New SH1 roundabout in Kaitaia to improve safety and traffic flow

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 10, 2020

A new roundabout will be built at a busy Far North intersection on State Highway 1 early next year to reduce congestion and improve safety.

Construction of the roundabout will begin in late January 2021 at the corner of Matthews Avenue (SH1) and North Road in Kaitaia. Most of the work will be undertaken at night to minimise traffic disruption.

“Upgrading the intersection to a roundabout will help traffic flow more easily along a key freight route and improve safety for all roads users,” says NZ Transport Agency senior manager project delivery Andrew Thackwray.

An increase in traffic volume at the intersection has led to lengthy traffic queues on Matthews Avenue (SH1) and North Road.

Thackwray says a road safety audit identified that a mini roundabout would be the safest and most effective method to calm current traffic volumes and improve safety for road users.

Improvements to the intersection include an upgrade to the paved surfaces, installation of traffic islands, upgraded street lighting, realignment of footpaths and new signage.

A mini roundabout differs from a traditional roundabout in the sense that the central island is painted or only slightly raised, rather than having high kerbs. This means that heavy vehicles can track over, rather than around the central island, requiring less land space and allowing easier and safer manoeuvring through the intersection.

The project cost is estimated at $710,000 and is funded from NZTA‘s National Land Transport Fund.