$3.5M safety upgrade for Canterbury’s State Highway 7, Waipara to Waikari

A stretch of North Canterbury’s State Highway 7 is getting a $3.5 million safety upgrade, says the NZ Transport Agency. The upgrade will include safety barriers to help stop people dying or being seriously injured in a crash, and rumble strips to give drivers a wake-up call if they stray outside their lane.

The SH7 Waipara to Waikari Safety Improvements project is part of the government’s $600 million Safe Roads programme.
3.5M safety upgrade for Canterburys State Highway 7 Waipara to Waikari

Map of project area and safety upgrade:

Over the 10 years between 2007 and 2016, one person died and 10 people were seriously injured along SH7 between Waipara and Waikari. Most of these crashes involved single vehicles and were caused by drivers losing control and driving off the side of the road.

As well as being the southern end of the Lewis Pass route between Picton and Christchurch, a key freight route, this stretch of highway is also busy in holiday periods as it leads to the turnoff to Hanmer Springs as well as through to the West Coast and Nelson.

The safety improvements will help ensure that simple mistakes won’t cost lives or leave people seriously injured in the future, says Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors.
“Along with the rumble strips and safety barriers, the project includes sealed shoulders in front of new safety barriers to give drivers who lose control more room to recover and improved signage to warn drivers of risks such as sharp corners and bridges,” he says.

“High-performance road markings that are easier to see at night and in the wet will be installed, and concrete parapets on the Weka Creek Bridge will be replaced with safety barriers. We will also improve the existing safety barriers across Antills and Archers bridges.”

Downer Construction will carry out the work, which will get underway this month (June). Weather permitting, the project will be finished by early 2019.

Mr Connors says the Transport Agency is also looking at a number of sharp corners north of Frog Rock, and there are plans to carry out geotechnical work to investigate possible changes at Archers Bridge. Work to level the surface on Weka Creek Bridge will start during the 2018/2019 summer roadworks season.

More information about the SH7 Waipara to Waikari Safety Improvements can be found here