SH33 safety plans to be revealed by NZTA
The New Zealand Transport Agency is set to unveil safety improvement plans for State Highway 33 between Te Ngae Junction and Paengaroa -a stretch of road that has seen 16 deaths and 46 serious injuries between 2006 and 2015.
Most of these crashes were head-on collisions or drivers running off the road and hitting trees, poles or deep ditches.
NZTA is to hold three drop-in session to outline the plans.
The safety improvements have been developed after discussions with locals and stakeholders earlier this year. They include a wide centreline from Te Ngae to Paengaroa, flexible roadside safety barriers at high risk locations, safety improvements in Mourea, Okere Falls and Paengaroa, rumble strips and a south-bound passing lane between Paengaroa and Okere Falls.
The Transport Agency’s director safety and environment, Harry Wilson, said the plan that is being suggested will make this road safer but we still want to hear more from the public.
‘‘The safety team had great conversations with the wider community and interested groups about their concerns with this road and the feedback received has helped shape the proposed safety improvements,’’ Wilson said.
‘‘The community drop in sessions are a chance for people to review the plans, share their thoughts, and double check nothing important has been missed.
‘‘We’d like people to come along and ask questions, give feedback and meet the team who will be working on this project. Or if they can’t make it, there is also the option of providing feedback online.’’
The 34km long route will be completed in three stages. Stage one, near Paengaroa, begins later this year. The two remaining sections are expected to be underway next year and in 2019.
Through the Safe Roads programme the government is investing $600m over six years, targeting the prevention of 900 deaths.
The drop-in sessions are being held on Wednesday October 11, 3pm-6pm at the Paengaroa Hall, Thursday October 12 at the Okere Falls Store, 3pm-6pm and on Friday October 13 at the Pikiao Rugby League Club, 1pm-4pm. The final vote counts are in but the Rotorua and Waiariki election results remain unchanged.
National MP Todd McClay retained his seat with 18,788 votes, 7901 ahead of closest rival Labour candidate Ben Sandford on 10,887.
The third-highest polling candidate was New Zealand First list MP Fletcher Tabuteau with 3062 votes.
Green Party candidate Richard Gillies secured 1491 votes, followed by Ma¯ori Party candidate Wendy Biddle with 702.
In total 36,117 people voted in the Rotorua electorate, National securing the majority of the party vote at 48.1 per cent against Labour’s 32.2 per cent.
Tamati Coffey secured the Waiariki electorate for Labour with 12,362 votes, a majority of 1719 over Ma¯ori Party incumbent Te Ururoa Flavell on 10,643.
Labour also secured the lions share of the party vote in the Waiariki electorate with 58.1 per cent of the votes.
In total 24,329 people voted.
The stretch of State Highway 33 has claimed 16 lives.