We know that there have been works happening around the Lanes Flat area and look forward to seeing these completed.
With the number of cones about the roundabouts we asked Waka Kotahi what the longer term plan is for the two roundabouts - whether the cones will be removed so that they become two roundabouts again or whether they will be combined into a "peanut shape". We received the following reply and images ...
"The cones at the TG interchange roundabouts were installed as a temporary safety measure, because in the first few months after TG opened, quite a number of westbound cars (i.e. from Judgeford or beyond) turned right and went the wrong way up the southbound off-ramp. The same thing also happened (but much less often) for eastbound traffic turning right onto the northbound off-ramp at the western roundabout. Fortunately, most of the wrong-way drivers realised their mistake fairly quickly and turned around, and I don’t think any of them got beyond the end (which was really the start) of the ramp and travelled the wrong way along the motorway, but it was obviously a significant safety concern that unfamiliar drivers were accidentally turning onto the off-ramps, so the cones were installed to prevent that. There hasn’t been a decision made yet about whether to remove the cones and reinstate the full roundabouts, or whether to make the dog-bone/peanut shape permanent… there are pros and cons for both options. Either way, the current signage is likely to be replaced.
If the dog-bone/peanut shape is retained (by replacing the cones with islands and/or a wire rope barrier), then the signage will be changed to show the new layout, a bit like at the Meanee Road interchange in Napier, as shown below:
Determining the interchange layout (i.e. peanut vs two full roundabouts) is really an safety engineering question, taking into account and trying to balance all the relevant (and sometimes competing/opposing) factors, to determine what layout they think will provide the best overall safety outcome, so unfortunately I don’t think there’s any place for community input.
Just FYI, the relevant factors include things like the history of wrong-way movements before the cones were installed, what difference improved signage might make, managing vehicle approach speeds (which are higher now for vehicle travelling under the bridge than are desirable, because people know the cones mean they won’t need to give way at the second roundabout), available and safe sight distances for vehicles approaching the roundabouts on the off-ramps (which were assessed for the lower speeds that were expected for vehicles travelling under the bridge) and the increased distance/inconvenience for people wishing to “u-turn” if the peanut layout is retained."
As noted, we are unlikely to be asked for community input but if you have any thoughts or concerns that you think we should raise with Waka Kotahi then please let us know.
Looking forward to the completion of roadworks - SH58