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Waipawa Main Street Safety Crossings

Waipawamainstsafetycrossing 7

Waipawa Main Street Safety Crossings 

Updated on 21 September 2023 to reflect changes to detour as work begins to install safety crossings next week (25 September)

Stage Two to begin September 25 - detours will be in place

Waipawa’s safety improvement project is nearing its second stage. Waka Kotahi began work on State Highway 2 / Waipawa’s main street last Monday to upgrade part of the stormwater network and install two raised safety crossings. From next week (September 25), construction will begin on the two raised safety platforms, replacing the existing crossings.

This work is scheduled to take a fortnight and during this time, there will be a detour in place of the northbound lane.

  • The northbound lane will be closed during the work. Southbound traffic will always stay on the state highway.
  • The northbound detour will take people down Kenilworth Street and right into Waverley Street before rejoining SH2.
  • Fourteen carparks will be available right outside the main street shops.

Parking outside the shops:

• Southbound traffic wanting to park outside the shops will be guided onto the closed northbound lane and into a carpark, before being directed to merge back into the traffic flow when leaving the carpark.
• Northbound traffic wanting to park outside the shops need to approach the parks from the south - motorists will need to take the detour down Kenilworth Street, right into Waverley Street before turning right onto the SH2 and being directed into a park.

Additional parking will also available on the right side of Kenilworth Street; on Ruataniwha Street and more across the road from the shops, next to the museum and behind the shops on Islington Drive and Waverley Street.

Please see the map below showing parking options.

SH2 Waipawa car parking map front shop parking 002 pages to jpg 0001

A PDF version of this map is available to download and print here.

What is the project?

Waka Kotahi and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council have been working together on two projects to improve safety and slow traffic on State Highway 2 / Waipawa’s main street.

Waka Kotahi has scheduled the first of these safety projects - construction of raising crossings on Waipawa's main street - from Monday 11 September until Sunday 15 October. 

The Waipawa community has been advocating for many years for speed reduction and safety improvements to Waka Kotahi for Waipawa's Main Street. We’ve heard from the community that it’s difficult to cross the main street: pedestrians, school children and cyclists mix with high traffic volumes, and vehicles often travel too fast. 

A community petition from 2020, attracted over 1,000 signatures online and in person, while a community campaign with signage, remains in place, reminding people to slow down.

About the Safety Crossing project

This project is funded and managed by Waka Kotahi and involves the construction of two raised crossings at their existing locations to slow traffic through the town and improve visibility of pedestrians. These platforms are installed One is near the Four Square and the other at the Cenotaph. In advance of this work, road workers will also upgrade the stormwater infrastructure next to the road to make sure that stormwater can run off properly and doesn’t cause damage to the road surface.

Local detour in place from 11 September to 15 October 2023

The work will be completed in three stages: 

  • 11 September – 24 September: Stormwater upgrade. During this time, the detour will be in place between 7am and 7pm.
  • 25 September – 7 October: The raised safety crossings will be installed. During this time, a 24/7 detour will be in place.
  • 8 October – 15 October: The approaches to the raised crossings will be asphalted. During this time, the detour will be in place between 7am and 7pm.

During stage one of the work, which is underway now, both north and southbound lanes will be open to all road users and there will be a small stretch of SH2 by the Cenoptaph that is controlled by stop/go signs. A northbound detour will remain available through Kenilworth Street and right into Waverley Street before rejoining SH2.

There will be signage advising the public that businesses are open as usual and that there are car parks available on Islington Drive. Car parks will also be available on the south bound side and Waka Kotahi will monitor congestion and parking issues and adapt as required. Access to BP petrol station will always be available for southbound traffic. Northbound traffic will be able to go through SH2/Ruataniwha Street intersection and then turn into BP. More information on the traffic management plan for stage two and three will be available next week.

Streets for People update

The second project planned to improve safety and slow traffic is Streets for People. This project is 90 percent funded by Waka Kotahi but delivered by the Council. We have been working to deliver the Streets for People project and the safety crossing project at the same time to reduce disruption to the community, local businesses and those using the State Highway.

However, due to delays with procurement, material and the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on Streets for People, Council is relooking at how and when we roll it out to minimise further disruption. We will come back out to the community with a plan and clearer timeline in October.

A report evaluating the current state of the area for this project, saw pedestrian access on Waipawa’s main street described as 'ineffective' and 'unsafe'. Respondents generally believed poor pedestrian protection on Waipawa’s main street was the key cause for people having a negative experience in the area.

The main issues raised were visibility and drivers who did not slow down or stop. There was particular concern for children, elderly and disabled people between Ruataniwha and Victoria Streets and people felt two crossings were insufficient for a main thoroughfare. 

Suggested changes included measures to reduce vehicle speed, improve crossing points and infrastructure to increase vibrancy. You can read the full report and other safety initiatives proposed for the main street here.


We acknowledge the disruption that this detour may cause. Please contact us with any questions or concerns that you have: 

Waka Kotahi: Chris Mahoney,

Central Hawke's Bay District Council: Gail Teichmann, phone 06 857 8060,

Thank you.


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