$30m proposal to make SH58 safer


The NZ Transport Agency, Porirua City Council and Hutt City Council are jointly hosting an information day talk to and seek feedback from road users and other interested people about proposals to reduce deaths and serious injuries on State Highway 58 and some connecting local roads.

The information day, being held between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 22 November at Pauatahanui School, will present the Transport Agency’s and Councils’ proposals, which include straightening some tight bends, introducing safer speeds to the area, installing  wire rope safety barrier and building a new roundabout at Moonshine Road.

Transport Agency Wellington highway manager Rod James says the proposals to improve safety on SH58 include moving quickly to improve the stretch of road between Harris and Mt Cecil Roads that is currently reduced to 50km/h; reducing the speed limit; and proposals for wider-reaching physical work over the next three years.

“With the summer construction season around the corner, we’re taking the opportunity to fix the curves on the western side of Haywards Hill. Here, a stream has, over time, compromised the road’s integrity by washing away its foundations and leaving it at risk of falling apart. To reduce this risk, the speed limit has been reduced to 50km/h since late 2013 over a 1km length of the highway.

“As this area has recently been the site of two crashes that left two people dead and two seriously injured, the Transport Agency is carrying out safety improvements with urgency while it’s carrying out the necessary remedial works.”

Tenders for the physical work have closed and the Transport Agency expects to award the contract soon.

Mr James says a $2.5m upgrade will happen straight away, and the $30m package of improvements will be consulted on in coming months and is due to begin next year.

“To achieve a safer highway, we’re developing an extensive package of safer speeds, road widening with wire rope barriers, a roundabout at Moonshine Road, and the easing of sharp curves.”

This first-stage work involves straightening the road, installing 700m of wire rope safety barrier to protect motorists from head on collisions, and improving drainage to maintain the road’s integrity. This work is in line with the long term plan for the road.

“State Highway 58 is a difficult route, with a number of tight, difficult curves and roadside hazards such as steep drop-offs, streams running close to the road and heavy tree growth.

“Realistically, it will always be a challenging drive, but this doesn’t mean we should accept that death and injury are inevitable.  We recognise that people will make mistakes, and the road needs to be more forgiving so driver error doesn’t lead to tragic consequences.”

More information about the early work and the complete $30m package to turn around the poor safety record of this key route will be available at the information day.

For more information please contact:

Anthony Frith
Media Manager - Central

T: 04 894 5251
M: 027 213 7617
E: anthony.frith@nzta.govt.nz