What other safety improvements are happening on SH5?
Improving safety on New Zealand roads is a priority for Waka Kotahi. Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy, sets us on a path to achieve Vision Zero, a New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. We want everyone who uses our roads to get to where they’re going safely. Safe speed limits and infrastructure improvements will save lives and reduce the number of people seriously injured on New Zealand’s roads.
To achieve Vision Zero, we need to create a safe transport system that recognises humans make mistakes. However, with appropriate design, these mistakes do not need to cost us our lives. The method requires a mix of solutions that combine to keep people safe, including setting safe speed limits and undertaking safety improvements.
Following a review of the SH5 corridor, we expect to do more safety improvements subject to funding. The project may include median barriers, side barriers, wide centrelines, and intersection improvements. These will complement the current speed proposal and other smaller-scale improvements. We are still in the early stages of this project, and the next steps will be to complete the feasibility and design work before staged construction. We will engage with stakeholders through this process.
This year, Waka Kotahi has delivered $2.5 million for safety improvements for SH5. These improvements included side barriers, road markings, and rumble lines, and an improved entrance for the Tarawera Café.
The Hawke’s Bay state highway network also has approved funding of a further $16 million. The programme is being delivered across the 2020-21 financial year and includes an enhanced maintenance package of $4 million for works on SH5.
Waka Kotahi is also advocating for a long-term view to be taken with SH5. We have requested funding through the Regional Land Transport Fund for a Business Case that will have a wider perspective than safety improvements, including efficiency and resilience, with work intended to sit alongside any safety improvements delivered from the Road to Zero Speed and Infrastructure programme.
At the end of August, the final NLTP projects will be announced. This will provide clarity for many projects across SH5 and SH51.
SH51 also has further safety improvements that are awaiting funding approval. These improvements include infrastructure between Ellison Street and the Tutaekuri River bridge, including the Awatoto. If approved for funding, these safety improvements will happen over the next two NLTP periods.