What to do with Waitomo's killer intersection?

20:03, Nov 28 2013
Kirsten Steinke
TRAGIC: Kenneth Stithem and Kirsten Steinke were honeymooning in New Zealand at the time of the September 20 crash that killed Mr Stithem.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is taking another look at Waitomo's killer intersection.

Canadian tourist Michele Smith died in February 2012, and American tourist Kenneth Kallan Stithem, 31, died in September 2012, after the agency had made changes to the intersection in late 2011.

Locals blame confusion about the road layout and poor visibility for the deaths.

The agency put four options before residents in August, and was due to reveal which one it favoured this month.

But principal safety engineer Michelle Te Wharau said the project team was still testing the four options, plus a fifth.

"The next steps, after completing the formal investigation phase and announcing the preferred option, is for the project team to secure design funding in the new year with a view that if the necessary property acquisition and consenting process goes well that construction could commence by summer next year."


Option 1 is an offset T-intersection layout with head-to-head right-turn bays on SH3 for both SH37 and Mangarino Rd.

Option 2 is similar, but includes a left-turn slip lane out of SH37.

Option 3 is a roundabout at SH3/SH37, and a T-intersection layout with a right-turn-bay for Mangarino Rd.

Option 4 is a roundabout at a new location about 60 metres north of the existing SH3/SH37 intersection. This would require a realignment of the end of SH37 to improve its link to SH3.

Waikato Times