An NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) safety improvement initiative aimed at reducing the area's high accident rate starts next Tuesday 1 February on State Highway 22 (SH22) between MacPherson Road and Glenbrook Road which carries an average of 22,000 vehicles daily.
The trial of new centreline markings is part of staged improvements to achieve safe passing to help bring down the number of crashes on this section of highway. The application of the markings is timed to coincide with road resurfacing works to minimise disruption to drivers.
The resurfacing and markings installation to be carried out by NZTA’s Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) is planned to take place over five consecutive nights between 8pm and 5am, weather permitting. A stop/go traffic control system will be in operation during these hours.
The new road markings will provide greater separation between each lane of the highway. A median approximately one metre wide will be painted as a series of dashed white lines on sections of the highway where overtaking is allowed and as solid yellow lines in no overtaking areas. In places, rumble strips will supplement the markings.
A study by NZTA has indicated that installing a one metre wide centreline reduces head-on crashes by 70%, and reduces loss of control crashes by 70%.
The trial is one of many initiatives on busy rural state highways throughout the country says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
“In supporting the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy by improving the safety of New Zealand roads, we are helping reduce the risk of crashes and minimising the severity of those that do occur,” Mr Parker says.
As part of an investigation into optimal passing solutions for SH22, the new line markings will be monitored for effectiveness with data collection surveys carried out both before and after the safety measures are installed.
The existing westbound Ngakoroa passing lane between Jesmond Road and Woodlyn Road will be removed as it has no shoulder and is too short to allow safe overtaking manoeuvres. A two metre wide shoulder is being added to this location, with the aim of improving cyclist amenity/safety along this route.
Further safety measures to be introduced to SH22 include a new roundabout to be constructed in at the Glenbrook Road intersection later this year.
Streetlight improvements are also planned in the first half of 2011 between the proposed Glenmore Road roundabout, and the existing 70/100 km/h speed limit change near Jesmond Road. New LED streetlights will also be installed to improve safety and reduce night time crashes.
The LED street lighting, which is more energy efficient and eco-friendly, will be white, not yellow, to provide better visibility of colours at night. The light intensity will be able to be dimmed when appropriate to further conserve energy. Conversely, the lighting will be able to be brought up to full power during adverse weather conditions or in the event of an incident.
The Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) was formed in 2008 to maintain and operate Auckland’s 220 kilometres of motorway network. Led by the NZTA, the AMA comprises of Fulton Hogan, Opus International Consultants, Beca, Resolve Group and Armitage Systems Ltd.
As well as being a first point of call for customers, the AMA is responsible for the day to day operation of the 220 kilometres of the Auckland motorway network including traffic and environmental management, research and development, safety work and maintenance.