The NZ Transport Agency is progressing plans for a series of improvements to support growth and make State Highway 22 safer between Drury and Paerata.
The improvements are designed to provide short and medium term benefits as part of the Supporting Growth Programme to develop transport networks to enable new housing and business areas over the next 30 years.
The section of highway between Drury and Paerata is considered a high-risk rural road. Nine people have died and 39 people have been seriously injured in the past ten years (between Jan 2007 to Dec 2016).
“Most of these crashes were caused by drivers losing control and running off the road, or crossing the centreline and hitting an oncoming vehicle,” says Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency’s System Design Manager.
The planned improvements include creating wide centre lines and flexible median barriers to reduce head on crashes, installing flexible barriers to reduce the impact when vehicles run off the road, reconfiguring passing lanes and lane changes.
There will also be upgrades to intersections which include roundabouts or traffic lights, right turn bays or safer turning areas.
A two-metre wide shoulder in both directions will also be created to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
“The improvements will make State Highway 22 and its roadside more forgiving of human error, reducing the risks of crashes happening and limiting the severity when they do.”
A series of public open days are being held being held to update the community on the progress so far.
“We have listened to the community feedback we received earlier this year and it has helped us to shape the proposed improvements. It also highlighted some extra ideas for improvements which we have incorporated, now we’re seeking more feedback to see if we have the plans right.”
Construction is planned to get underway in 2018 and be finished by 2021.
The safety improvements are being developed to complement the longer term plan for supporting future urban growth areas.
Up to 25,000 trips are made along the route every day, with that number expected to grow in the next 10 to 15 years as planned housing developments are built.
“The high speed rural road serves as a vital link to Pukekohe, other major centres of employment such as the steel mill at Glenbrook and the growing housing areas north of Pukekohe. It’s also used to access popular West Coast beaches and Regional Parks,” says Brett Gliddon.
More information about the planned changes are available on our website www.nzta.govt.nz/d2p(external link)
Public open days: