Dome gets millions

A $35 million Dome Valley safety upgrade will get underway this month and is expected to be finished by 2021.

Around 150 people attended three information days in Warkworth and Wellsford last month to see the plans and give their feedback.

The upgrade will include the installation of flexible median safety barriers, wider shoulders and the replacement of passing lanes with slow vehicle bays at the top of the Dome.

Right turn bays will be constructed at the entrance to Wharehine Contractors, Dome Valley rest area, Phillips Road and Christine Place.

The improvements are part of the Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme to improve 1500km of regional highways.

There have been 16 crashes causing three deaths in the Dome over the last five years.

A New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) spokesperson says the upgrades will help prevent head on crashes and give motorists safe places to pull over.

“People who attended the meeting said they supported the planned work, as they were aware of how dangerous this stretch of highway is.”

Further feedback from attendees included requests to improve the Kaipara Flats Road and Goatley Road intersection, and widen some bridges in the Dome Valley.

NZTA also sought feedback on speed limit changes. There was general support for speed reductions at both the northern and southern ends of the Dome.

The first works will begin at the north end of the Dome, followed by the south end and then the stretch in between.

NZTA has assured people that property access will be maintained during construction. Works will be done at night ensuring two lanes are kept open between 7am and 7pm.