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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is proposing safety improvements to prevent deaths and serious injuries on State Highway 57 in Levin, between State Highway 1 and Heatherlea East Road.

There have been 11 crashes resulting in deaths and serious injuries on SH57 between the SH1 intersection and Heatherlea East Road in the last five years.

Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the proposed safety improvements will keep the road safe ahead of the new highway opening in 2029.

“State Highway 57 will continue to be an important local road after the new highway is completed, and it’s important that we tackle the safety issues on the existing road right now,” Ms Speight says.

“These improvements will make the corridor safer in the meantime, while work progresses to deliver the new Ōtaki to north of Levin highway within the next decade.”

To prevent more crashes, Waka Kotahi plans to build a roundabout at the SH57/Queen Street intersection, to slow approaching vehicles and make it easier to choose the right time to enter flowing traffic. Roundabouts can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured at busy intersections by up to 65 per cent.

Plans also include the installation of stretches of side barriers and wider centrelines. Painted wide centrelines provide more space between lanes, which can reduce serious crashes by up to 20 per cent.

Side barriers stop vehicles before they hit something less forgiving, like power poles or drainage ditches. They can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by up to 30 per cent.

“We are asking residents and locals to share their thoughts on the planned safety improvements. Input from the community can help finetune the proposed improvements and will make sure we have all the information we need to make them fit-for-purpose,” Ms Speight says.

These safety improvements are a continuation of the work further north on SH57 to Shannon, completed in early 2020.

Waka Kotahi is also reviewing the current speed limits on SH57 between SH1 and Shannon to make sure they are safe and appropriate for the road. Regardless of the cause of a crash, speed is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed, injured or walks away unharmed.

“Engagement with the community on speed helps us get feedback and local knowledge on how the road is used and any concerns. This feedback will help us determine if a speed limit change will improve safety,” Speight says.

Waka Kotahi is hosting five drop-in sessions around Levin and Shannon between 21-25 July. These sessions are an opportunity for people to talk with the team about the project, explain the next steps, answer questions and hear feedback.

More information about the planned safety improvements, how you can submit feedback and when the drop-in sessions are is available at: www.nzta.govt.nz/o2nl-SH57-safety-improvements(external link)

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