Planning is well underway to enable a mid-year start to safety improvements on the Mornington Road to Mosgiel section of the Dunedin Southern Motorway.
A wide centre line or median barrier will be installed to reduce the risk of head-on crashes and an additional side barrier. High performance road markings will be used to improve visibility at night and in wet conditions.
Work on this NZ Transport Agency project is expected to finish in summer 2017/18. Construction will be planned to ensure minimal disruption. No more than one lane will be affected at any time in each direction, and the Transport Agency will aim to schedule work outside peak traffic in each direction.
The Transport Agency’s Southern Region Business Unit Manager Ian Duncan says these improvements will make this busy motorway safer for all users. It will help reduce the impact of road crashes upon people.
“Two people died and 34 were seriously injured on this section of SH1 in the ten years from 2006 and 2015. Most fatal and serious injury crashes on this route are caused by drivers running off the road.”
Mr Duncan said nearly 90% of these crashes involved a vehicle hitting a roadside hazard such as a tree, fence or ditch. The safety measures planned on this section of motorway will reduce these types of crashes, and when they do occur, people will be less likely to be killed or seriously injured.
The work is part of a nationwide $600 million Safe Road and Roadsides programme [PDF, 430 KB] the NZ Transport Agency is delivering on behalf of the government.
Mr Duncan said the goal is to make many rural routes on the highway network safer over the next six years. It aims to prevent 900 deaths and serious injury crashes nationwide over 10 years through relatively simple measures such as rumble strips, road shoulder widening, safety barriers, better signage and speed limit changes.
More information about the Dunedin Southern Motorway safety improvements project is available here(external link).