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Transit New Zealand begins safety improvements

Tuesday 30 November 2004

Transit New Zealand begins safety improvements at Windy Ridge

A sod turning ceremony to mark the beginning of works on a passing lane on State Highway 1, at Windy Ridge north of Puhoi was held today to highlight another milestone in Transit New Zealand's ongoing programme to improve the safety and efficiency of the state highway network north of Auckland.

The event was officiated by the Rodney District mayor, Mr John Law. Also present were members of Transit New Zealand, the Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara iwi, the Rodney District Council, and the Auckland Regional Council.

Construction at Windy Ridge will extend the current passing lane, which is very short and ends on a bend at a dangerous point on the road. The new passing lane will run northbound for 600 metres along the southern end of Windy Ridge.

There is a high number of head on accidents at the existing termination of the passing lane due to the current end location being situated on a corner. The new passing lane will be extended to end on a straight area of road, with the enhanced visibility at the termination of the passing lane and the inclusion of a higher standard of merging tapers making merging manoeuvers safer for motorists.

There is also a "kink" on the existing highway alignment, causing accidents as a result of motorists losing control, which will be removed as part of the project.

Transit director of strategy and traffic, Terry Brown, says: "State Highway 1 is used by thousands of tourists each year, the major trucking companies and the local community. Rodney District is one of New Zealand's fastest growing areas, both in terms of social and economic development, and as such the roading infrastructure serving the area must be a safe, efficient and modern system. Underlining our commitment to improving the highway, a further southbound passing lane at Hungry Creek will be opened within the next few weeks."

Construction on Windy Ridge is unlikely to hinder traffic flows in the area, as only this additional lane is affected by the works. However, State Highway 16 is a possible alternative route for people traveling north of Wellsford.

Transit New Zealand aims for construction of the passing lane to be completed by March - April 2005.

For further information contact Terry Brown, Transit New Zealand director of strategy and traffic - tel 368 2000

ENDS

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