Safety improvement works set to begin
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is about to begin safety improvement works on State Highway 3 near New Plymouth, as part of the New Plymouth to Hāwera Safety Improvements project.
Over the last few years, we have consulted on safety improvements between New Plymouth and Egmont Village including a proposed intersection speed zone at Junction Street, New Plymouth. We have heard clearly from the community that intersection safety is important, with Junction Street and Mangorei Road regarded as high priorities.
Junction Street Intersection Upgrades
In September, we will start upgrades at the SH3 intersection with Junction Street, just south of New Plymouth. This work comprises:
Installation of flexible median barriers north towards New Plymouth and south to the Mangorei Road intersection.
Installation of an intersection speed zone. This will detect when traffic is approaching the highway from Junction Street, or turning right into Junction Street from the highway, and temporarily reduce the local SH3 speed limit to 60kmh.
When operating, the zone’s two digital signs – located approximately 150m north and south of the Junction Street intersection – will display an enforceable speed limit of 60kmh.
Removal of the southbound passing lane at Junction Street. This 420m passing lane is much shorter than the minimum safe overtaking length of 600m-800m.
These measures will reduce the risk and severity of crashes and make it safer for people to pull out of or into Junction Street across a high-speed rural road.
In response to community feedback, drivers will still be able to make right turns out of Junction Street, reducing the likelihood of adding to congestion on the local network.
Installation of flexible median barriers at sites between Inglewood and Hāwera is scheduled to begin in early 2024.
Also in early 2024 we plan to start work on installing a roundabout at the Mangorei Road intersection.
The entire New Plymouth to Hāwera project will improve safety over more than 65km of Taranaki highway, through the installation of flexible median barriers and turnaround facilities on SH3 and widening of the centreline on SH3A.
All works are subject to property negotiations and consenting.
In 2018 Waka Kotahi developed a business case for safety improvements on SH3 between New Plymouth and Hāwera. The 9.75km stretch between New Plymouth to Egmont Village was then prioritised due to its high safety risk, with 77 crashes being reported between 2016 and 2020.
The safety improvements will contribute to the New Zealand Road Safety Strategy - Road to Zero 2020–2030 - which has an initial goal of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40% by 2030.
Further information about the project can be found on our project website.
Intersection speed zones
Intersection speed zones improve safety at rural intersections along high-speed roads and can reduce fatal and serious crashes by 69%.
Along with flexible road safety barriers they are part of the Safe System approach, which aims to create a forgiving environment and reduce harm when people make mistakes.
Flexible road safety barriers
Flexible road safety barriers save lives and reduce the number of people seriously injured. They give you a second chance, so a simple mistake doesn’t cost a life.
When they’re installed on the side or in the centre of the road, they can reduce the number of people killed.
When you hit a flexible barrier, the steel cables flex, slowing your vehicle and keeping it upright. They absorb the impact and help protect you and your passengers.