Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will shortly begin work to improve safety and provide more reliable journeys for people using and working on State Highway 1 (SH1) by permanently closing the southbound passing lane, south of Te Horo.
The end of the passing lane is approximately 300 metres north of a temporary 50km/h speed limit zone, which is in place to ensure safety of road users and workers while the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway (PP2Ō) is being constructed.
“Having a passing lane in this location is potentially unsafe, and is making people’s journeys longer on occasion,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.
“Because of how close the end of the passing lane is to the start of the 50km/h zone, it creates safety issues for people working on and using the road, with vehicles often entering the 50km/h zone at high speed.
“When those vehicles brake heavily it can cause traffic to bunch up and add to congestion through the site.”
Work to close the passing lane is expected to start from Thursday 18 March (weather dependent).
The temporary 50km/h speed limit will remain in place until work on the PP2Ō Expressway is completed. When the PP2Ō Expressway opens, customers will be able to use an uninterrupted four-lane highway between Ōtaki and Wellington.
Waka Kotahi says closing the one-kilometre-long lane will help improve the flow of traffic through the site and reduce the risk of someone being hurt in the meantime.
“The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway is just four kilometres down the road, so people don’t have far to travel for much safer passing opportunities,” says Mr Owen.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience, and our workers will certainly appreciate having a safer work environment.”
As part of the work a wide flush median and safe hit posts will be installed to further separate northbound and southbound traffic, and to assist with vehicles turning in and out of driveways along the road.
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