13 Jan 2019

Govt to spend $20m on 11 rural state highways

4:24 pm on 13 January 2019

The government is to spend $20 million on improvements to rural highways.

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State Highway 6 from Murchison to Westport is one of those which will be upgraded. Photo: Supplied / Mattinbgn [GFDL CC BY 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons]

It's part of a $1.4 billion programme over the next three years to make safety improvements on high risk roads around the country, which includes an estimated $600 million to $700m being spent on state highway improvements.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the 11 rural state highways being targeted have risks like sharp corners and narrow stretches.

"The goal is to prioritise proven technology like rumble strips which surprisingly reduce fatal run-off road crashes by up to 42 percent, shoulder widening at high risk sites can reduce serious crashes by up to 35 percent."

The roads are in Manawatū, Whanganui, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and the West Coast.

West Coast

  • SH6 and SH67: Murchison to Westport
  • SH7: Hanmer Springs to Reefton

Gisborne and Hawke's Bay

  • SH2: Wairoa to Gisborne
  • SH35: Gisborne to Tolaga Bay
  • SH2: Gisborne to Matawai
  • SH5: SH2 to Te Haroto

Manawatū and Whanganui

  • SH56: Makerua (SH57) to Palmerston North
  • SH57: SH3 to SH56
  • SH3: Palmerston North to Ashhurst
  • SH4: Whanganui to Raetihi
  • SH54: SH3 to Feilding

Ms Genter said some of the upgrades will done quickly over the summer, such as rumble strips, shoulder widening, and improved signage.

Improvements have already been made to rural roads in Northland, Taranaki, Otago and Southland.

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