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Major works to improve Hawke’s Bays key strategic routes


Drivers around Hawke’s Bay will be aware of a number of roadworks on key routes around the Bay at present.

These works are a result of the strategic plan developed by the Regional Transport Committee to improve safety and efficiency across the region’s strategic routes. This includes the efficient transport of freight to and from Napier Port.

The local works are funded by each of the respective Councils. The Regional Transport Committee has been instrumental in guiding how regional funds should be spent and which projects have the highest priority for the region. The Chair of the RTC, Alan Dick says “With current major work completed, Hawke’s Bay will have an arterial roading network on the Heretaunga plains as good as any in provincial New Zealand. Immediate future priority will then shift to State Highway 2 North with bridge strengthening in Hastings district to provide for heavier, large capacity trucks and safety improvements across the region.”

Major road works underway include:

Hawke’s Bay Expressway Improvements
This September, the NZ Transport Agency will start work on the next phase of a $36m improvement programme to prevent people from being killed and injured on the Hawke’s Bay Expressway between Bay View and Pakipaki. Safety works already under construction include the Watchman Road project by the Hawke’s Bay Airport and the Pakowhai/Links project.

The SH2/2A/Watchman Road upgrade
This intersection is in the top 10 high-risk rural intersections in New Zealand. Combined with a high volume of traffic from the port and Hawkes Bay airport, the current intersection was identified as a black spot. A joint project between the New Zealand Transport Agency, Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Airport will see safety improvements including the installation of a roundabout, and relocating the entrance to the airport to Watchman Road. This project is due for completion in September.

Pakowhai Rd-SH50-Links Road Intersection
This major roundabout will improve safety at a dangerous intersection and ensure that traffic flows much more efficiently, particularly from north to south. This project is due for completion in November.

The Whakatu Arterial Link
This is designed to move freight traffic safely and efficiently from the Whakatu industrial park onto the Hawke’s Bay Expressway. It will also remove two dangerous intersections at SH2 Mangateretere and Ruahapia-Pakowhai Road and provide a direct link from Havelock North to the Expressway. This project is due for completion in December.

Prebensen Drive-Hyderabad roundabout
Drivers in Napier will see work commencing in November to provide slip lanes at the Prebensen Drive-Hyderabad roundabout. This will enable freight traffic to avoid entering the roundabout, thereby improving efficiency and safety.

State Highway 2 between Pakipaki and Waipukurau
A range of safety improvements are underway to reduce the crash risk on State Highway 2 between Pakipaki and Waipukurau. A  further set of safety improvements has commenced on SH2 between Bay View and Wairoa.

Road Policing Manager, Inspector Matt Broderick says, “The Police support the collaborative approach the Regional Transport Committee represents to improving the safety of Hawke’s Bay residents and visitors.”

The key to reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roading system is good design and drivers taking responsibility for their driving behaviour, particularly in and around the work being undertaken.  The workers at these sites are our community too and deserve to be considered highly for making our environment safer.

You can help by maintaining safe speeds, being alert by staying unimpaired through drink or drugs and not distracted by technology and phones. Finally, if an accident occurs, the best protection is a restraint device.  Wear a seatbelt!”

Drivers are asked to be patient while the works are being completed, and to check the NZTA and Hastings District websites for updates on the projects by heading to:

New Zealand Transport Authority

Hastings District Council

Hawke’s Bay Regional Transport Committee
Major works  are part of a regional strategy championed by the RTC, to improve safety and efficiency.

Under the Land Transport Management Act 2003,  Hawke’s Bay Regional Council must form a Regional Transport Committee. The committee is composed of two Regional Councillors, one Councillor from each of Central Hawke’s Bay, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Wairoa District Council and a representative from the NZ Transport Agency. The RTC prepares a regional land transport plan every six years, which sets out policies and objectives for the region’s transport system and contains a programme of roading, public transport, walking and cycling and road safety activities for which the region is seeking funding from central government. The road works underway around the region are part of our strategy to improve the safety and efficiency of key routes across the region, including to Napier Port.

28 August 2018

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