Work has begun on a new raised pedestrian crossing on SH2 in Featherston, the first of five upcoming road safety improvements in the region.
The work, facilitated by Waka Kotahi, are part of ongoing work in Wairarapa to provide safer crossings.
Upgrades have been long awaited, with one resident in Greytown telling the Times-Age last year that limited pedestrian visibility on Main St meant “you take your life in your hands”.
The new crossing is being completed on Featherston’s Fitzherbert St, near Lyon St and Birdwood St.
Contractors began working on Featherston’s new crossing last night, and Waka Kotahi regional manager Mark Owen said they will be onsite until November 21.
“But more new crossings are planned for High St in Masterton, and in Greytown and Carterton before the end of the year,” Owen said.
“Two more are planned for Chapel St in Masterton next year.”
With the objective of significantly improving traffic and pedestrian safety, Owen said the crossings will make things safer for both drivers and pedestrians.
“They are brighter, bigger, bolder, and more visible to road users,” he said.
“They have more room and width for pedestrians and cyclists. This makes them much easier to use for people with restricted mobility.”
Owen acknowledged that not everyone was a fan of raised crossing designs, but said they are constructed to be as unobtrusive as possible.
“While they will slow traffic down, this is all part of the safety approach,” Owen said.
“Slower speeds mean there is less risk of injury or death to crossing users if there is a collision. Slowing down for a pedestrian crossing is a small price to pay for keeping pedestrians safe.”
Construction is scheduled for night-time shifts, but there will be some intersection closures while the work is underway, due to uneven road surfaces.
New pedestrian crossings are also expected to be completed later this month in Greytown, and Carterton in December.
SH2 Featherston works schedule:
Sunday, November 12 to Tuesday, November 21. Sunday-Thursday nights, 6pm–6am.
Stop/go traffic management on SH2. Drivers can expect short delays.
Birdwood St intersection closed Monday, November 13 to Tuesday, November 14. 6am–6pm. Local road detours available.
Lyon St intersection closed Wednesday, November 15 to Thursday, November 16, 6pm–6am. Local road detours available.