The NZ Transport Agency is reminding drivers there is a temporary 50km/h speed restriction in place through the Baypark to Bayfair Link (Bay Link) construction site.
Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy says anecdotal evidence indicates not everyone is adhering to the 50km/h speed restriction through the site.
“We have had a number of minor crashes through the site due to speeding and driver inattention. The temporary traffic management has narrowed lanes, providing less time to react to other vehicles, and a reduced speed is required to keep road users and workers safe.”
Data shows since August 2017 there have been 36 crashes within the Bay Link project site. Of those, 11% of the crashes were a result of speed, and 75% were a result of driver error, namely following too closely, failing to notice the car in front was slowing, and failing to give way.
While the crash statistics aren’t higher than previous years, the concern is that there is no room for error within the narrow construction site and the potential for both worker and motorists to be harmed is greater.
Vehicle activated speed signs will be installed this week to monitor motorists’ speed through the construction site and from July 16 the screens will flash up vehicle speeds.
Western Bay of Plenty Head of Road Policing Senior Sergeant Mark Pakes said they will be watching road user behaviour in the Baypark and Bayfair area.
“Temporary speed restrictions are enforceable. This is a busy area of Tauranga and road users must watch their speed and keep a safe following distance.”
The Transport Agency is today starting an advertising campaign locally to raise awareness of the temporary speed limit. The campaign will feature project contractors, CPB Contractors’ staff and family.
One of the people involved in the campaign is 12-year-old Finley Smith, whose father works for CPB Contractors. Finley’s message to road users: “Please slow down when you’re driving through the road works. I want my Dad home safe.”
CPB Contractors Project Manager Stephen Wright has reinforced Finley’s message “We have a team of 80 working on this construction project. Our workers have a right to a safe work place and drivers need to play their part in providing it. We ask that road users make good decisions to protect the road workers – they are mums, dads, sons, daughters, loved family and friends.”
The Baypark to Bayfair Link is designed to reduce congestion and improve safety by separating local and state highway traffic, and improve walking and cycling connections. The key features include the construction of two flyovers and improvements to the SH29A and Truman Lane roundabout, and the SH2 Maunganui-Girven roads roundabout.
It is expected to be complete late 2020.