The Government is investing $7 million in a major safety upgrade project to help reduce serious and fatal crashes on the Taupo Bypass section of State Highway One, Associate Minister of Transport Tim Macindoe says.
Ten kilometres of the East Taupo Arterial Road, between the Wairakei roundabout and the SH5 Napier-Taupo Road roundabout, will be widened and a median flexible safety barrier will be installed. Rumble strips will also be added and minor improvements will be made to the two roundabouts.
“These safety improvements are part of the Government’s Safe System approach, which acknowledges that drivers can and do make mistakes,” says Mr Macindoe.
“These improvements place greater emphasis on reducing the consequences of mistakes happening.
“The upgrade will mean the road is more forgiving and crashes are less likely to result in deaths and serious injuries.”
Between 2009, when the road was completed, and December 2016, two people have died and there have been eight serious crashes on the road.
Loss of control and fatigue have been factors in a number of these crashes, with vehicles crossing the centreline and/or running off the road.
Mr Macindoe says road safety is the responsibility of everybody. The Government is investing significantly in improving the safety of our roads and roadsides but drivers also need to ensure that they drive to the conditions, avoid speeding, take rest breaks, drive free of inhibitive substances, wear seatbelts at all times, and are respectful of other road users.
Construction on the safety improvements to East Taupo Arterial Road is expected to begin in October and be completed in mid-2018.
The improvements will be delivered by the NZ Transport Agency.