The New Zealand (NZ) Transport Agency has provided an update on the safety improvement works currently underway along State Highway 2 (SH 2) between Pakipaki and Waipukurau.

The project is one of several ongoing initiatives to reduce road deaths and critical injuries.

It includes shoulder widening and building road safety barriers on sections between Pakipaki and Waipukurau.

NZ Transport Agency senior project manager Rob Partridge said: “The safety improvements we’re making are proven to prevent people from being killed or seriously injured on the road.

“In many sections of State Highway 2 between Pakipaki and Waipukurau, shoulder widening is complete or nearly complete. We’re also starting construction on roadside safety barriers in some sections. We expect to complete these improvements early next year.”

The road safety improvement works on high-risk routes across New Zealand are carried out under the collaborative, prioritised Safe Network Programme.

Partridge added: “When installed along the side of the road, safety barriers prevent run-off-road crashes by catching vehicles that leave their lane before they hit something less forgiving, like poles or ditches.

“We know that run-off-road crashes account for 54% of fatal and serious crashes on New Zealand’s rural roads, so these safety barriers will make a big difference in reducing the severity of crashes on this road.”

Earlier this month, NZ Transport Agency started more safety improvement work on SH 2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa. This work is part of the project conducted between Trig Road and Anthenree Gorge and will be completed in about four months.

Last month, the agency awarded the designing and consenting phase contract on the SeaPath walking and cycling project at Auckland’s North Shore.