Road closure mooted
The NZ Transport Agency has suggested closing the intersection of Vickerman St and State Highway 1 in Grovetown as a safety measure.
In a brochure delivered to houses between Spring Creek and the Opawa River bridge, the agency says speeds on the section of state highway north of Blenheim could be lowered, the Mills and Ford roads intersection could be improved, and the part of Vickerman St between Watsons Rd and SH1 could be shut.
The state highway between Blenheim and Spring Creek, was the most highly used section of rural highway in the Marlborough district, it said, with about 10,000 vehicles on the road each day.
"The major issue in this length of highway is the section between Spring Creek and Aberharts Rd/Rowley Cres. There are a series of complex intersections at Vickerman St, Fell St and Ross Ln, which are close to the railway line."
Between 2002 and 2011, there were 96 crashes reported between Spring Creek and Opawa Bridge. Of these, 15 were classified as fatal or serious, and had resulted in 19 casualties. "This is far too many," the brochure says.
The causes were:
- The proximity of the railway line.
- Deep drains to the side of the road.
- The number of side roads with intersections on to SH1.
- No room at some of these intersections for vehicles to queue between SH1 and the railway line.
- There is no room at some of these intersections for physical improvements.
As a first stage, NZTA was looking at solutions that could be put in place quickly to improve safety.
- Reducing the speed between Blenheim and Spring Creek to 80kmh, 90kmh or staying at 100kmh.
- Putting a 60kmh limit through the Spring Creek intersection.
- Shutting Vickerman St between Watsons Rd and SH1.
- Improving Aberharts Rd intersection with right-hand turn bay.
Marlborough Roads general manager Frank Porter said people could send in submissions on the proposals until early next week.
- The Marlborough Express
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