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Monitoring equipment for Centennial Highway

Transit New Zealand Wellington Regional Office Media Release

8 October 2004

Traffic monitoring equipment for Centennial Highway

Transit New Zealand has installed traffic monitoring equipment at the site of the proposed wire rope median barrier trial on Centennial Highway (State Highway 1), 2 km south of Paekakariki.

"Three cameras and a traffic loop have been installed to monitor traffic behaviour and flows at the site," said Transit's regional asset manager, Kevin Locke. "The information from the equipment will provide more information about vehicle paths and speed and whether they are drifting on to the centre line at all."

Mr Locke said that information from the cameras was currently being taped for analysis. Transit aims to have the cameras monitored 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week when the barrier is in place before Christmas.

"We are still developing this aspect and will be talking to emergency services in the next few weeks to refine things further. We envisage that the real-time monitoring of the cameras will be part of our wider Active Traffic Management System, which includes the variable message signs at Ngauranga.

"Having 'real-time' information would assist emergency services to respond more quickly as the cameras would instantly pick up any incidents - such as breakdowns and accidents - on the road. We would be able to pass that information on to the appropriate emergency service meaning a faster and more efficient response to incidents," said Mr Locke.

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Mr Locke stressed that the equipment installed by Transit on Centennial Highway would not be used as an enforcement tool.

"The equipment has been installed to give us more information about traffic behaviour at the site - especially in light of the recent accidents and the upcoming wire-rope median barrier trial. It will not be used for enforcement purposes.

"We need to monitor this trial very carefully as a wire rope barrier in such a narrow situation has not been tried before anywhere in the world. If it works well, we will look at extending it to the whole five-kilometre length of Centennial Highway," said Mr Locke.

Mr Locke said Transit was working as fast as possible to install the barrier and a start on the physical works is expected in early November.

ENDS

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