$4.6 million to be spent on safety improvements to Waikato state highway
Safety improvements to a stretch of State Highway 1B will cost the government $4.6 million.
Associate Minister of Transport and Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe visited the site, between Taupiri and Hamilton, on Friday 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 Road and Taylor Road intersections.
Overall, $4.6m is being spent to make the highway safer, Macindoe said.
"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 centre line and people making incorrect decisions at intersections," Macindoe said.
There have been nine deaths and 20 serious injuries on the highway between Taupiri and Gordonton between 2006 and 2015, Macindoe said.
Of these, four deaths and 13 serious injuries were between Ballard and Taylor roads, he said.
The work is set to begin in September and to be completed early 2018.
The project excludes the 1.3km section through Gordonton Village.
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 and Ballard Road.
The 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 highways over the next decade.
Around 1500km of rural state highways throughout the country will be made safer through rumble strips, shoulder widening, safety barriers, better signage and changes to speed limits.