Safety upgrade for SH1 East Taupo Arterial

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 5, 2020

The NZ Transport Agency will be carrying out safety improvements on State Highway 1 East Taupo Arterial.

As part of the Safe Network Programme, $13 million is being invested to make a 12km stretch, between the Wairakei roundabout on SH1 and the SH5 Napier/Taupo Road roundabout, safer.

The work includes widening the road shoulders to give drivers more room to recover if they lose control, installing flexible safety barriers down the middle of the road to prevent head-on crashes and roadside safety barriers where hazards can‘t be removed such as power poles, trees and deep ditches.

Dave Van Staden, portfolio manager delivery – Safe Network Programme, says the safety improvements will bring the road into line with current safety standards.

“These improvements will make the road more forgiving of human error, helping prevent crashes and making them more survivable if they do happen.”

Between 2010 (when the bypass road was completed) and September 2017, three people died and six people were seriously injured on this stretch of road.

Work is scheduled to start in early March and is expected to take around 18 months to complete, weather permitting. The work over winter will be weather dependant and will be done in small sections.

As the weather warms up, activity on site will ramp up and longer sections of the shoulder will be widened.

Once the road widening is completed, the road will be resealed across the entire width, new flexible median barriers installed, and new road markings applied.

Motorists can expect to see signs, cones, shoulder closures and a reduction in speed to ensure the safety of the road workers and road users. The focus will be on ensuring two lanes are open for traffic, unless it is not practicable or safe.