Innovative safety solutions for SH2 near Ōpōtiki

File photo.

An upgrade to two intersections on State Highway 2 between Wainui Road and Ōpōtiki will be welcomed by locals who have been calling for safety improvements in this area.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says these SH2 intersections with Waiotahe Valley Back Road and Ōhiwa Beach Road will make a “huge difference” for locals.

“The option being developed consists of a modified double-roundabout arrangement, or ‘teardrop’, that slows vehicle speeds approaching these intersections, making it safer and easier for drivers to enter and exit SH2 and greatly reducing the chance of head-on and side impact crashes,” says David.

David says detailed design is underway, with construction expected to start by mid-2024, once design and property purchase is complete.

“While we waited for the construction funding to be confirmed for this section of the project, we investigated different solutions that would fit the safety needs identified. This innovative solution was chosen as the best fit,” says David.

“We have listened to the community. This upgrade will achieve the safety benefits you have been calling for, for yourself, your friends and whānau, and everyone who uses this road.”

This work is part of the SH2 Wainui Road to Ōpōtiki safety improvements project, which commenced construction in March 2021.

Construction crews have recently started improvements at the SH2/Rankin Road intersection. This work is expected to take one to two months to complete and includes improving the curve in the road, widening the road shoulders and installing side barriers.

“We are working hard to complete this work prior to winter while the weather is still warm enough to allow for road sealing,” says David.

“Next, we are starting service investigations and relocations through the Pohutukawa tunnels and from the surf club through to Ōpōtiki.

David says design work is also underway for a roundabout at the SH2/Wainui Road (Matekerepu) intersection.

“Once this is complete, we will undertake property purchase and consenting, then tender the work for construction. If this all proceeds as planned, this is expected to start in the second half of 2023.”

This project is being delivered as part of the Speed and Infrastructure Programme, a key part of Road to Zero, which sets a target of reducing the amount of people killed or seriously injured on New Zealand’s roads by 40 per cent by 2030.

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