Local MP Barbara Kuriger has welcomed the Government’s announcement to tackle some of the most dangerous roads.
“This is fantastic news for the wider Waitomo, Otorohanga, and Waipa Districts. Investment into upgrading the safety of these State Highways will significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries,” says Ms Kuriger.
“We know that eight of 10 fatal and serious injury crashes on state highways occur on rural roads and 85 to 90 per cent of those are head on or where the driver runs off the road.”
The safety upgrades will include a combination of side barriers, rumble strips, wide centre line treatments and median barriers. In some areas corners will be softened to improve visibility and road marking and signage highlighting the road environment will be upgraded.
“I am pleased to see the Government taking a strong lead when it comes to the safety of New Zealand roads and the recognition by this Government of the importance of State Highway 3. It is a treacherous piece of road, and these safety enhancements come off the back of the Government’s announcement earlier in the year of $130 million for the Awakino/Mt Messenger bypass,” says Ms Kuriger.
“In the Taranaki-King Country electorate there are six upgrades as part of the Government’s $600 million investment into road safety. These include $3.1 million for an upgrade to SH3 from Ohaupo to Te Awamutu due to start in late 2016, a $2 million upgrade for SH3 between Te Awamutu and Otorohanga with work due to start mid 2017, a $1.5 million investment into SH37 from SH3 to Waitomo, with work already underway, a $3.3 million upgrade to SH3 from SH37 to Te Kuiti with work due to start in late 2016.
“In addition to the improvements to State Highway 3, there will be a $4.5 million upgrade to SH23 from Waitetuna to Raglan with work starting early 2017, and an $8.8 million upgrade to SH23 between Hamilton and Whatawhata with work aiming to start mid 2018. Recent incidents have highlighted the need for these roads to have safety improvements, and it is superb to see the Government’s commitment to this.”
Investing this $23.2 million into the safety of the State Highways in this electorate demonstrates the Government’s commitment to reducing death and serious injuries crashes on New Zealand roads.