New State Highway 1 pedestrian crossing at Otaki will slow traffic even more

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 4, 2018

Southbound motorists who have been stuck in traffic through Otaki will not welcome news that a signalised pedestrian crossing is being installed just north of the roundabout on State Highway 1.

From next week the two-lane roundabout will be reduced to one lane each way and the SH1 pedestrian underpass off County Road will close permanently and be replaced with the new pedestrian crossing.

NZ Transport Agency spokesman Chris Hunt said the changes were necessary to keep motorists and pedestrians safe. The new layout was part of the $330 million Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway, expected to open in 2020, which will bypass the town.

The pedestrian underpass had to be closed to allow new roads and bridges to be built, and pedestrians are being temporarily diverted via County Road and Rahui Road to the new crossing point.

Hunt said once SH1 traffic is switched on to the new bridges later in the year, pedestrians would be able to walk down the eastern side of SH1 to the new signalised crossing on a 3m-wide shared path.

“Once traffic is using the new bridge, we will dismantle the old bridge and start to build the new rail track.”

The lights at the new pedestrian crossing will be monitored and adjusted on demand as needed. Peak demand is expected to be at school drop-off and pick-up times.

“As things are changing in this area, it‘s important that drivers slow down, allow extra time for your journey and pay attention to all the temporary speed limits and signage,” said Hunt.

“Drivers should pay extra attention during before and after school times as many school students will use this pedestrian crossing.”