Marine Parade’s iconic row of Norfolk pines in Napier were first planted in the 1890’s and have been the subject of controversy over the years - not because of their size, but because they have become a safety hazard for motorists.
The southern end of Marine Parade has a 100km speed zone and has, over the past 30 years, been the location of 15 fatalities and many more serious injuries from impacts with the trees. CSP Pacific’s Armorwire Safety Barrier was chosen for the picturesque spot for its safety record and because it was the least visually intrusive of the various wire rope barrier systems available.
“We have been concerned for some time about the accidents that have occurred along Marine Parade involving impacts with the Norfolk Pines, “ explains Ken Holst, Safety Engineer from the New Zealand Transport Agency. “We tried several times to get residents and Council to agree to the installation of road barrier along the parade to ensure the safety of motorists but to no avail. It is understandable that residents buy homes in this location to have access to the beach front, but it is our job to keep everyone - pedestrians and motorists - safe.”
After another fatality in 2015, New Zealand Transport Agency insisted that a road barrier was required and started discussions with residents and Council over suitable options. “We recommended the use of a wire rope barrier system as it is extremely safe because it flexes and gives with the vehicle on impact,” said Ken. “There have been no recorded fatalities after collisions with a wire rope system so it’s on the top of our list.”
After weighing up the concerns of residents and Council, New Zealand Transport Agency were happy to use a wire rope system as opposed to a standard W Beam barrier because it is more aesthetically pleasing and it means residents can see through the barrier, causing the least disruption to the view that they have paid for.
“The project went without a hitch,” explains Gavin McMahon, Project Manager for Fulton Hogan. “We know CSP Pacific of course, and Graeme Rush from Splice Construction was also very helpful and professional. The communication between all parties from the New Zealand Transport Agency through to installation was very good, which resulted in the delivery of a successful project ahead of time.”
“Since the installation has been completed we have not heard any complaints at all from residents, or anyone in fact, about the Armorwire Wire Rope barrier,” adds Ken. “We, New Zealand Transport Agency, certainly feel better about the safety of this section of road. I think once the barrier was installed and everyone could see that it looks great, they have accepted it was the best way to keep everyone safe.”