$8.1 million is to be spent on improving safety on State Highway 1 between Cambridge and Piarere, with work getting underway early next year.
The safety project, which runs between the end of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway and Piarere, the SH1/SH29 intersection, is part of the Government’s Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme, targeting 90 high-risk sites on rural state highways nationally.
The work would provide immediate safety improvements ahead of a detailed investigation to identify long-term solutions for this 17km section of SH1, which has seen 13 deaths and 45 serious injuries from crashes over the past 10 years.
New Zealand Transport Agency Waikato Highways manager Niclas Johansson said the project included creating a wide centreline to reduce head-on crashes, installing side barriers in high-risk areas to reduce the impact of run-off- road crashes, and upgrading signs to make high-risk areas more visible.
“This section of SHi1 is a critical link for tourism and freight, connecting Auckland to the Waikato and Bay of Plenty and further afield to the central North Island. These improvements will make this key route safer for everyone who uses it,” he said.
In parallel with the immediate safety improvement work being undertaken, the NZTS will be considering longer term solutions for this key route through the upper North Island.
A comprehensive engagement process with stakeholders, road users and the community will start now to identify the preferred long-term solutions for SH1 and SH29.