The nature of Central Hawkes Bay terrain and the low traffic volumes (although a high volume of slow-moving trucks) has meant that its rural strategic routes have been built as two-lane highways (now HPMV routes).
As slow-moving vehicle volumes have increased, pressures have been placed on the existing level of service. Passing opportunities are limited and often on straights where forward sight distance is poor.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council (CHBDC) asked Stantec to investigate locations that could be considered for an overtaking lane along Porangahau Road as previous engagement had revealed certain stakeholders were being held up by the increasing number of heavy vehicles (HCV’s) using this route, predominantly logging trucks.
During discussions it was agreed a better strategy would be to investigate multiple sites for Slow Vehicle Bays (SVB) as the preferred locations for overtaking lanes were predominantly on the flat and there would be minimal speed differential between these HCV’s and other traffic; these SVB locations would provide more benefit to the local community than an overtaking lane.
Slow vehicle bays provide a means to relieve these risks and improve the level of service to the general public. When drivers are unable to overtake slower vehicles, they are likely to become frustrated and perform a risky, unsafe passing manoeuvres that could lead to an accident.
This project has been launched with Stantec having produced a technical memo that identifies five slow vehicle bay sites on Porangahau Road for investigation, as well as providing recommendations with regards to which of these site(s) should progress through to detailed design.
SVB Sites Investigated
The five sites investigated were selected based on the speed differential of HCV’s, the geometry of the road (as this also provided a natural deceleration location for HCV’s) and a visual assessment of the ease of construction compared to other sites along the route.
Site 1 (preferred by the NZ Police and the local School bus driver) will require geotechnical investigations; however, the surrounding slopes are flatter than all of the other sites and it could be extended downhill or if preferred a short SVB established at Site 2 that is located away from a natural pond.
You can view a map of the Slow Vehicle Bays Project here
As part of the PGF programme of works currently underway, we are looking at installing a slow vehicle bay on Porangahau Road to improve user safety on route. We are wanting your feedback on the best location for the slow vehicle bay.
Click the link below to complete a short survey where you will provide your feedback on a range of shortlisted and alternate locations. If we haven’t located a spot you think would be worthwhile, please click ‘other.’ You can also take the time to provide some feedback on your preferred location.
Once a location is confirmed, design will be completed, and construction is planned to start late 2021/early 2022 and will be completed by June 2022, in line with our wider planned completion on the route.
Feedback closes on Monday 25th October 2021.
For wider information on the PWPGF programme – visit our website: https://www.chbdc.govt.nz/our-district/projects/porangahau-wimbledon-road-upgrade/ or contact council on 06 857 8060. We will be planning to hold further ‘drop in’ meetings to gather feedback on this and other projects if we return to Level 1.
*The heatmap you will note on the map – signifies the frequency of crashes on the route, this data is pulled from the Waka Kotahi crash analysis system data.
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