Truckies urge extra care on SH35
The intersection of Snell Road and State Highway 35 is causing concern for truck drivers and the Ōpōtiki Harbour project team and they are asking locals to take extra care in the area.
Harbour project director John Galbraith says with the harbour build now underway, truck movements in the area would increase over the coming months and continue well into 2022.
“We have always highlighted that intersection as a concern for our project as it requires our truck drivers exiting Snell Road to cross the state highway and into the opposite lane.
“They have good visibility in both directions, but visibility is based on a clear line of sight of vehicles travelling at 50kph.
"What I am hearing from our truck drivers is that drivers are not travelling at that speed and it is risk for the truck and other vehicles."
A Waiotahi Contractors Contract representative says it's time for local drivers to get used to the speed limits in place heading east out of Ōpōtiki and to keep to 50kph until the other side of Snell Road.
“Our drivers are taking all possible care crossing the road there and they are just asking, particularly local drivers, to keep to the speed limits in that location as there have been several close calls already.
“People who regularly travel that stretch have had plenty of time to get used to the speed limits and resist the temptation to speed up on the straight. Just keep an eye out for trucks, keep to 50kph and take extra care around the area."
Galbraith says they are working with council and NZTA to ensure the speed restrictions were clear along the whole length and erecting some temporary electronic signs to remind drivers.
They had also spoken to police to request a greater presence in the area to ensure the speed restrictions were well-understood.
“This is a long term project and trucks will be crossing in that area for many months to come. We currently have over 40 truckloads of rock and concrete being delivered by local contractors each day and that will lift further in 2021.
"We are all focussed on running a safe and sustainable project and ask road users in the area to play their part too."