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New roundabout set to improve safety at Hamilton Airport turnoff

July 6, 2015

The NZ Transport Agency has announced plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 3 (Ohaupo Road) and State Highway 21 (Airport Road), south of Hamilton.

The project will cost about $4.5 million and will be jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency, which builds and maintains state highways, and the Titanium Park Joint Venture, which is developing the airport business zone. 

Work is expected to start this summer. 

The Transport Agency’s Waikato highway manager, Kaye Clark says the new layout is designed to improve safety and access to current and future industrial development in the airport area, as well as the Mystery Creek Events Centre and Fieldays. 

The roundabout will have four legs and initially be single lane, but with scope to be expanded to two lanes when needed to service future development and growth in the area. 

The work anticipates the future Southern Links route and will become part of a grade-separated interchange to be built nearby. 

Mrs Clark says safety improvements are a big driver in the project, with the intersection being the scene of 24 crashes, including five fatal or serious injury crashes, in the past five years. 

“The Transport Agency is focused on doing everything we can to save lives and prevent serious injury caused by crashes on our country’s roads,” she says. 

“Installing roundabouts at high risk intersections is one thing we can do to help reach our goal. 

“Roundabouts naturally slow traffic and reduce the chance of head on or side impact crashes, which can be the cause of death or serious injury if someone makes a mistake on the road. 

“Our data shows that changing a T intersection or a crossroad to a roundabout reduces death and serious injury crashes by 90 per cent while the total number of crashes reduces between 25 to 80 percent. (Transport Agency High Risk Intersection Guide). 

“Most of the crashes at this intersection over the past five years involved right turns into and out of SH21. This roundabout will help to reduce those types of crashes and increase safety at this intersection.” 

Mrs Clark says future industrial growth around the airport business zone is the other driving force. 

“It is important for us to support the economy and agreed land-use patterns consistent with the Future Proof strategy by providing safe and efficient freight-friendly connections to major routes,” she says. 

“It’s great to work in partnership with our stakeholders on a project like this.” 

More information about the roundabout project will be available at an open day on Tuesday, 14 July, any time from 3pm-7pm, at the Hamilton Airport Motel and Conference Centre on SH21-Airport Road.  

The roundabout design

The roundabout design.

A roundabout will:

  • Reduce the number and severity of crashes

  • Improve trip reliability

  • Improve congestion at peak times

  • Support the economy and agreed land use patterns

  • Be freight-friendly

The roundabout is designed to fit in with Southern Links alignment for SH3.