Wire rope prov­ing a life­saver

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Since 2005, 69 ve­hi­cles have hit the Cen­ten­nial High­way wire rope me­dian bar­rier but none of the ac­ci­dents have been fa­tal.

Prior to the bar­rier be­ing in­stalled in 2004, the road be­tween Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki had a lethal record.

In the five pre­vi­ous years there were seven fa­tal ac­ci­dents, three se­ri­ous in­jury ac­ci­dents, two mi­nor in­jury ac­ci­dents and five non-in­jury ac­ci­dents re­ported on it.

At the same time as the bar­rier was in­stalled the speed limit was re­duced to 80kmh.

In the fol­low­ing five years, there were 27 ac­ci­dents from driv­ers hit­ting the me­dian bar­rier, but no deaths and no in­juries.

New Zealand Trans­port Agency Welling­ton op­er­a­tions man­ager Mark Owen said from the agency’s point of view the bar­rier had proved very sat­is­fac­tory.

‘‘From a car dam­age per­spec­tive, it’s a bit softer on the car. Gen­er­ally, they can drive away.’’

That means ac­ci­dent sites are more promptly cleared and the road was quickly flow­ing again, he said.

‘‘It’s also very easy to re­pair, just pop the posts out, re­place them and then reten­sion the wire, or we can pop the posts out and move the traf­fic to the other side.

‘‘It is a lot more flex­i­ble.’’

Sim­i­lar bar­ri­ers have since been placed on Hay­ward’s Hill, and on State High­way 2 around Sil­ver­stream, and a new one is be­ing in­stalled be­tween Sil­ver­stream and Moon­shine.

Mr Owen said four other new bar­ri­ers were un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion on State High­way 1 from Paekakariki to McKay’s Cross­ing, fur­ther north be­tween Otai­hanga and Waikanae and on State High­way 2 fur­ther north.

There will be more as the agency’s ‘‘ roads of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance’’ are built, he said.

The bar­ri­ers were the sub­ject of in­tense crit­i­cism from mo­tor­cy­cling groups when a mo­tor­cy­clist was killed on Auck­land’s south­ern mo­tor­way af­ter col­lid­ing with the wire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.