Mak­ing the Piarere cross­ing safer

Hamilton Metro News - - Opinion - David Ben­nett Hamil­ton EastMP

I was pleased to be in the com­pany of Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges, Tim Macin­doe and Louise Up­ston for the an­nounce­ment that one of New Zealand’s most dan­ger­ous roads is about to be up­graded to im­prove the link be­tween Hamil­ton and Tau­ranga.

This fol­lows on from the ini­tial in­vest­ment made into the link of Hamil­ton to Auck­land.

The NZ Trans­port Agency has un­der­taken sig­nif­i­cant con­sul­ta­tion with road users, which has cul­mi­nated in the project team and stake­hold­ers favour­ing a four-lane ex­press­way for the stretch of high­way from south of the Waikato Ex­press­way up to and in­clud­ing the SH1/29 in­ter­sec­tion.

The fi­nal route will be deter­mined dur­ing the next stage of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, but the favoured cor­ri­dor be­tween Kara­piro Road and the SH1/29 in­ter­sec­tion (and along­side Lake Kara­piro) is lo­cated north of the cur­rent road.

Though more work is needed be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion can be made, NZTA felt it was im­por­tant to share the favoured op­tion, be­cause of the ef­fect that this scale of works will have on the large num­bers of peo­ple who use the road and the peo­ple who live and work in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity.

The num­ber of deaths and se­ri­ous in­jury crashes on the Cam­bridge to Piarere cor­ri­dor is ex­pected to re­duce by more than 70 per cent through the im­prove­ments. Five peo­ple died and 14 were se­ri­ously in­jured in crashes on the route over the five years from 2011-15.

The favoured op­tion will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove safety by en­sur­ing the road has the lat­est design and elim­i­nat­ing con­flict be­tween lo­cal traf­fic and state high­way users.

Fur­ther de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­port­ing now needs to be un­der­taken be­fore the favoured op­tion— known as E2 in the con­sul­ta­tion phase— goes to the NZ Trans­port Agency board. The fi­nal de­ci­sion will be an­nounced later this year.

Mean­while, $8.1 mil­lion in short-term safety im­prove­ments get un­der way on the ex­ist­ing route later this year. Th­ese in­clude a wide cen­tre-line, road­side bar­ri­ers at high­risk ar­eas, up­graded sig­nage and a right­turn bay into Kee­ley’s Land­ing.

We are ex­cited to note the an­nounce­ment of Hamil­ton as the new home for the HSBC Sev­ens from 2018. We feel con­fi­dent that the de­ci­sion to host the Sev­ens is sup­ported by the im­proved ac­ces­si­bil­ity to Hamil­ton from our clos­est port city and the largest city in New Zealand. Read more about the favoured Op­tion E2 on the project web­site: www.nzta.govt.nz/c2p

From left, Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Tim Macin­doe, Si­mon Bridges, Louise Up­ston and David Ben­nett at Piarere Cross­ing.

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