Work has begun on road safety improvements between Taupiri and Gordonton.
Fences are being relocated and trees and bushes trimmed, ahead of more extensive improvements due to get underway soon.
The $4.6 million NZ Transport Agency project is in response to the road’s high crash history.
“The most common cause of crashes is from motorists losing control and running off the road. Speed, unforgiving shoulders and the proximity of objects such as trees and power poles add to the risk on the road, along with vehicles crossing the centreline and motorists making incorrect decisions at intersections,” said the Agency’s Waikato Highways manager Karen Boyt.
There were nine deaths and 20 serious injuries on the three stretches of road between 2006 and 2015.
“While the volume of traffic south of Ballard Rd will reduce once the Huntly and Hamilton sections of the Waikato Expressway are completed, there is still expected to be a significant number of vehicles using the road,” Ms Boyt said.
Side barriers, rumble strips and shoulder widening will be added in high-risk areas, together with high performance road markings to improve visibility at night and in wet conditions.
The first section of the project – adding safety improvements to 1.2km of SH1 between Taupiri and the Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway – was completed in 2012.
This part of the project – from Ballard Rd intersection to Taylor Rd (excluding Gordonton Village) is expected to be completed late this year.