Work gets underway next month on safety improvements on a stretch of State Highway 1B between Taupiri and Hamilton, Associate Minister of Transport Tim Macindoe has announced.

Mr Macindoe visited the site today to make the announcement.

Rumble strips, side barriers, shoulder widening in high-risk areas and high performance road markings will be added between the Ballard Rd and Taylor Rd intersections. The project excludes the 1.3km section through Gordonton Village.

Overall $4.6 million dollars is being spent making the highway safer. Safety improvements have already been added to the 1.2km section of SH1, between Taupiri and the Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway and the road between the Gordonton interchange through to Ballard Rd.

“These safety improvements will help prevent the most common cause of crashes on this highway, namely motorists losing control and running off the road, vehicles crossing the centreline and people making incorrect decisions at intersections,” says Mr Macindoe.

Mr Macindoe says that there have been nine deaths and 20 serious injuries on the highway between Taupiri to Gordonton between 2006 and 2015. Of these, four deaths and 13 serious injuries were between Ballard Rd and Taylor Rd.

The safety improvements will be completed in the 2017/2018 summer period.

“This announcement is part of the government’s Safer Roads and Roadsides programme which will see $600m invested over six years to prevent deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over the next decade,” says Mr Macindoe.

The Safe Roads and Roadsides programme aims to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured on our rural roads. Around 1500km of rural state highways throughout the country will be made safer through relatively simple measures, such as rumble strips, shoulder widening, safety barriers, better signage and changes to speed limits.

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