Safety improvements for Mariri causeway


A six kilometre stretch of “rumble lines” has been installed on the Mariri Straight Causeway, east of Motueka, to help prevent fatal and serious crashes.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has installed the Audio Tactile Pavement Markings (ATP) this week, on State Highway 60 along the eastern approach to Motueka.

NZTA state highway manager Wellington, Rob Whight, says the $60,000 project is part of NZTA’s safety goals of providing safe roads and roadsides.  The Mariri causeway section of the highway has been identified as a high crash risk site with three fatal crashes over the last five years, he says.

“These improvements are necessary to ensure a consistent and safe road corridor between Motueka and Richmond,” Mr Whight says.

NZTA undertook a crash reduction study along this corridor last year with a range of safety improvements identified, including the ATP markings and seal widening at points such as intersections to allow room to accelerate and slow.

Mr Whight says the improvements have been completed over the past few months in consideration of the opening of the Ruby Bay Bypass later this year, which connects to the Tasman end of the causeway.

The installation of continuous lengths of rumble markings is the most extensive in the Nelson/Tasman region.  The new markings have been installed on sections of the white continuous edge lines and along the entire length of the double yellow no-overtaking centre lines.

Local residents were consulted prior to installation, along with road safety partners including the Automobile Association, the Road Transport Association, Tasman District Council  and cycle groups.  A trail section of rumble marking was installed along 200 metres of the causeway 12 months ago to assess any issues for road cyclists.  As a result a one metre sealed shoulder has been provided for cyclists outside the rumble edge line.

ATP markings have been proven by international research to reduce crashes by more than 20 percent, Mr Whight says.  When a vehicle wanders outside the 3.4 metre driving lines the tyres hit the strips, creating a whirring noise as the vehicle passes over the raised plastic ribs.

“This installation is particularly useful for fatigued or impaired drivers.  The rumble markings also provide improved night visibility of road markings, especially during wet conditions.”