The NZ Transport Agency has just completed the last of six passing lanes on State Highway 1, between Ashburton and Timaru.
Work on the 1.4km northbound and southbound passing lanes 1km south of Orari began in mid-November and were completed at the weekend, bringing to an end a programme of work identified 10 years ago.
NZTA State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says the passing lanes will help improve safety, travel times and reliability, as well as vehicle operational costs along this section of State Highway 1.
“While the 55km of highway from Tinwald to Temuka is flat with long straights, opportunities for passing are becoming restricted because of increasing traffic volumes and a significant proportion of slow vehicles.
“State Highway 1 in this area has recorded a significant number of overtaking related crashes in recent years, often the result of frustrated drivers overtaking when it is not safe.”
He says the new $1.1 million passing lanes will provide road users with increased passing opportunities which will be safer and help to reduce the number of crashes.
“This work is part of our Safer Journeys Strategy to manage crash forces to save lives and prevent serious injury from crashes.
“We are using the world-leading Safe System approach to develop roads that recognise people make mistakes and crashes are inevitable. As a result, our roads and roadsides must be forgiving.”
Mr Knaggs says making our roads safer is a shared responsibility of everyone who uses them.