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Work on SH2 roundabouts to get under way

Construction work on the roundabouts is expected to begin in August. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Construction work on three roundabouts on State Highway 2 [SH2] between Carterton and Masterton will begin in August, Waka Kotahi has confirmed.

Waka Kotahi awarded the contract for the roundabouts, believed to be worth about $20 million, to construction firm Higgins.

The three roundabouts would be built on the intersections of SH2 and Ngaumutawa Rd, SH2 and Norfolk Rd and Cornwall Rd, and SH2 and Wiltons Rd and East Taratahi Rd.

“Construction firm Higgins Contractors has been appointed to deliver a major safety improvement project between Masterton and Carterton over the next two years,” a spokesperson for Waka Kotahi said.

“Higgins staff will be on site completing preliminary work such as ground investigations and survey, and relocating underground services in the coming weeks.

“Construction on the first roundabout, at Wiltons Rd and East Taratahi Rd is expected to begin in approximately August this year.”

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight said that the section of SH2 was dangerous, and it was hoped the construction work would reduce serious crashes on the road.

“This section of SH2 is a high-risk stretch of road with a history of serious crashes.

“From 2016 to 2020, there were 10 crashes which resulted in people dying or being seriously injured along this stretch of road.

“Upgrading three key intersections with new roundabouts and physically separating traffic with new median safety barriers will significantly improve safety along this busy corridor, reducing the likelihood of crashes occurring, and ensuring that when drivers do make mistakes those mistakes don’t cost lives.”

According to Waka Kotahi, there were 488 crashes on SH2 between Masterton and Featherston from January 2010 to December 2019.

The roundabouts were among several proposals for safety improvements for that stretch of SH2.

Further safety improvement work included pedestrian crossing upgrades, steel rope barriers and lower speed limits, with limits reduced to 80kmh and 60kmh on some sections of the road.

Waka Kotahi had not yet provided an update on the proposed speed limit reduction.

“Late last year Transport Minister Michael Wood announced that we’ve secured funding to make State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton safer,” a spokesperson for Waka Kotahi said.

“The package of safety improvements includes flexible safety barriers, pedestrian crossings for school children, walking and cycling paths, road widening, new signage and new roundabouts.

“These improvements will make it safer for people to do everyday things like taking children to school, travelling to work or the shops, moving goods and doing business.

“We know many of these improvements are long-awaited, especially the new roundabouts.”

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