New safety barriers to keep motorists and students safe on CHCH highway

The finishing touches are being put on a road safety project in Christchurch that will prevent head-on crashes and keep students safe as they walk and bike to school.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter visited the State Highway 74 Marshland to Burwood project today, meeting the project team to get an update and see progress on the safety work first-hand.

The $2.5 million project is scheduled to be completed in June and is part of the Government’s Safe Network Programme.  It includes the installation of new road safety barriers and new road markings that are easier for drivers to see at night and in the rain.

As part of the visit Julie Anne Genter also met with students from Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools who cycle to school on a shared path which will be protected by the new roadside barriers installed as part of the project.

“In the ten years from 2008 to 2017 two people died and another 13 were seriously injured on this stretch of road.

“Many of these crashes could have been prevented by simple upgrades like the barriers being put in place today. 

“At this site, we’re installing safety barriers down the middle of the road to prevent head-on crashes, as well as side barriers to prevent drivers running off the road.

“The side barriers will mean the many students who bike and walk on the shared path beside the highway are much safer. My hope is that this gives more students the confidence to walk and bike to school, and their parents the freedom to say yes.”

Minister Genter says road safety barriers, like the ones being installed on SH74, are a road safety success story, proven to make a real difference.

“When fitted along the side and centre of the road like this, they can reduce the number of people killed by up to 90 per cent.

“We know they work. That's why this Government plans to invest a record $1.4 billion over three years to upgrade over 3300 km of our most dangerous roads with improvements like these safety barriers, wide centre lines, rumble strips and better signs,” says Julie Anne Genter.