22 May 2016

NZTA pledges to fix black spot

8:47 pm on 22 May 2016

NZTA has promised to do all it can to fix a Whangarei road that has become an accident black spot for logging trucks.

Otaika Valley residents ..rail advocates and truck drivers packed the local hall this month for a heated meeting after a spate of log truck rollovers

Otaika Valley residents and truck drivers pack the local hall for a heated meeting after a spate of log truck rollovers. Photo: RNZ/Lois Williams

Residents of Otaika Valley Road have threatened to blockade it after two trucks rolled over on sharp bends in less than a month.

New Zealand Transport Agency's Northland director Ernst Zollner said the agency expected to take the road over from the council in July, when it is due to become part of a new state highway.

The short winding road links State Highway 1 with Mangakahia Road, which the agency plans to upgrade for use as an inland freight route from the Far North.

Mr Zollner said Otaika Valley Road would never be a motorway, but there was a lot the agency could do.

"We will develop a programme to gradually improve the quality of the road," he said.

"These are sort of targeted improvements that will improve the safety and the resilience and also take out some of the trouble spots for larger vehicles but also smaller vehicles."

Mr Zollner said the agency would also look closely at how speed can be managed on Otaika Valley Road.