SH3 safety improvements to begin soon at Junction Street, New Plymouth


Waka Kotahi is getting ready to upgrade the Junction Street intersection on SH3 in New Plymouth as part of the broader New Plymouth to Hāwera Safety Improvements project.

The Junction St works include an intersection speed zone and installation of flexible median barriers immediately north of Junction Street, and between Junction Street and Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. 

The 420-metre southbound passing lane at Junction St, which is much shorter than the minimum safe overtaking length of 600m-800m, will be removed as part of these works.  

Waka Kotahi is also planning the installation of six kilometres of flexible median barriers at five sites between Inglewood and Hāwera, to begin in early 2024, while later this year enabling works will commence in advance of an early 2024 start to construction of a roundabout at the Mangorei Road intersection. 

The entire New Plymouth to Hāwera project will improve safety over more than 65km of Taranaki highway, through the installation of flexible median barriers and turnaround facilities on SH3 and widening of the centreline on SH3A.

The intersection speed zone will increase safety for all road users by detecting when traffic is approaching the highway from Junction Street or turning right into Junction Street from the highway, and temporarily reducing the local SH3 speed limit to 60kmh.

Community feedback has been and continues to be an important part of this project. As a result of initial feedback, the project design has been modified to ensure drivers can still make right turns out of Junction St, preventing additional congestion on the local council-managed roads.

“We are pleased to be starting work on these important safety improvements,” says Senior Project Manager Sree Nutulapati.

“Flexible median barriers can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in crashes by 75%.

“If you hit a safety barrier, the steel cables flex, slowing down your vehicle and keeping it upright. They absorb the energy of the impact, which means that you and your passengers don’t.”