Intersection upgrade work under way

Last updated 12:04 19/02/2013

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Work has started on the next phase of upgrading Paekakariki's State Highway One intersection.

Road crews have nearly finished reconstructing a 1.5-kilometre stretch of highway and laid a new asphalt surface.

The speed limit through the area has been returned to 70kmh.  

NZ Transport Agency state highway operations manager Mark Owen acknowledged road works had been frustrating for motorists.

"There is never a good time to carry out maintenance on a busy road like SH1 but we try to minimise disruption by working at night ... summer is the best time to reseal roads," Mr Owen said.

NZTA has completed changes to the road near the level rail crossing, which would reduce the risk of long vehicles like buses from bottoming out on the crossing, he said. A bus got stuck on the crossing several years ago.

The next step was improving the intersections with Beach Rd at the entrance of the town and Paekakariki Hill Rd.

Work on the Beach Rd intersection was already under way and a central traffic island had been installed. The next phase was to add plastic posts to better separate SH1 traffic from turning traffic. 

The Agency will be banning traffic from turning right from Paekakariki Hill Rd onto SH1 and banning the right hand turn from SH1 onto the hill road. This will involve making some changes to the entrance/exit to Paekakariki Hill Rd to make the intersection safer, he said.

The area around the old petrol station just south of the hill road exit will be upgraded to enable motorists to use it to turn right onto the highway.

Contractors will be working at night to minimise traffic delays with "stop/go" controls in place from around 7pm to 5am, which are expected to cause delays.

"Please plan ahead and leave extra times for journeys. These changes should make a complicated intersection easier to use," he said.

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter

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