A detour will be in place from next week for motorists travelling north through Waipawa while raised safety crossings are installed.
At the same time, part of the stormwater network will be upgraded.
The work follows feedback from the Waipawa community in support of work to make the crossings safer, including a petition and community campaign to reduce speed on their main street.
During the work, the northbound lane of State Highway 2 will be closed through Waipawa’s main street, and traffic will be detoured through Kenilworth Street and right into Waverley Street before rejoining SH2.
The works will begin next Monday (11 September) and will be split into three stages:
At all times, the southbound lane will remain open. Southbound traffic will be swapped over into the opposite lane at times to remain clear of the works.
During the closure, pedestrian access will remain to businesses along this section of the main road, and parking will still be available on Ruataniwha Street, on SH2 next to the museum and behind the main street.
Waka Kotahi Senior Project Manager Chris Mahoney says the safety improvements will see the two existing pedestrian crossings raised, as a way to slow approaching traffic while people are crossing the road.
“Raised platforms are in use around the country and they can reduce deaths and serious injuries by up to 40%. They give people more time to react to avoid crashing with pedestrians.
“At the same time, we’re taking the opportunity to upgrade part of the stormwater network near the Cenotaph to improve drainage in the area and ultimately minimise the impact of ponding from heavy rainfall.”
Mr Mahoney says it was the intention to complete this work at the same time as the Streets for People project, which will see the installation of additional crossings and other safety measures.
“Due to delays with resourcing, materials and the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on Streets for People, the project is currently being revised to minimise any extended disruption to retailers.
“We understand it’s been a trying few months for residents and businesses impacted by the cyclone and we realise the safety works over the coming weeks will be disruptive. We want to thank businesses, residents and motorists for their understanding during these works and assure people we’re focused on minimising the disruption during this period,” says Mr Mahoney.
7 September 2023
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