Safety improvements on SH3 between Ohaupo and Te Awamutu last year have proved their worth.
This busy commuter highway carries over 11,000 vehicles per day and, due to a higher number of crashes where people died or were seriously injured, was identified as a high-risk state highway and included in the Safe Roads and Roadsides programme.
In addition to the installation of many kilometres of flexible safety barrier and steel guardrail, the improvements have included widened centre lines and improved road markings designed to reduce the risk of run-off-road crashes. Several intersections were also upgraded and additional pull over areas for vehicles created.
Jasmine Ellery, Project Manager for Broad Spectrum - the barrier installation and maintenance company appointed for this project - says she is aware of 14 incidents where both the wire rope and W-section barriers had been impacted and required repairs.
“This section of SH3 was obviously a danger spot safety-wise but the frequency of the collisions is what has surprised us,” she said. “For this number of incidents to occur in just a couple of months just goes to show how effective the safety measures are. The minute we are made aware of any incidents we put traffic management in place for the protection of the travelling public. The road needs to be made safe as soon as possible. CSP Pacific help with the urgent supply of any parts we may need so we can restore the barrier quickly.”
|“The improvements were undertaken on about 12 kms of highway and involved well over five kms of barrier being installed,” says Gemma Collins, Business Manager for CSP Pacific. “So it was a significant sized project. Both of the barrier products used by the Transport Agency - the Nu-Guard® 31 Steel Post Guardrail System, which has the lowest deflection rate on the market of 1.05m and the Armorwire Wire Rope Barrier, which is the most effective system available – have definitely made this highway a lot safer for motorists and locals.”|
Flexible road safety barrier is far more forgiving to the human body in a collision as it deflects the vehicle gently, significantly reducing the impact on the people in the vehicle.
“It’s sad that there have been so many incidents in such a short space of time but it goes to show the work undertaken by the Transport Agency was definitely worth it in terms of lives it will save,” says Gemma.
- Nu-Guard® 31 Steel Post Guardrail System x 1.430kms
- X-350 Fully Re-directive Terminal End x 25
- Trailing End Terminal x 1
- Armorwire Wire Rope Barrier x 4.3kms
- Armorwire Terminal Ends x 68
Under the Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme safety improvements are made to high-risk sites on rural State Highways around the country. The safety upgrades aim to prevent people dying and being seriously injured in crashes by relatively simple measures such as roadside safety barriers, median barriers, rumble strips, wide centrelines, road markings and improved signage.
The work is being carried out by the NZ Transport Agency.
The government is investing $600m over six years targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade.
More information can be found at: www.nzta.govt.nz/saferoadsalliance