Wednesday, January 17, 2024

NZTA/Waka Kotahi Media Release:


NZTA/Waka Kotahi

Making State Highway 60 safer. New safety barriers planned for Ruby Bay Bypass

17 January 2024

State Highway 60 in Tasman will soon be a much safer route, with new safety improvements to be installed starting next month.


Emma Speight, Director of Regional Relationships, says from 8 February to 30 June, contractors will install new side and median barriers along the Ruby Bay Bypass between the Dominion Road and Harley Road intersections. They will also carry out road-widening and drainage work as well.


“These road safety barriers will literally be life-changing for drivers.  Research shows median barriers virtually eliminate head-on crashes and reduce deaths and serious injuries from run-off-road crashes by around 40-50 percent.”


“These barriers catch vehicles before they hit something harder, like a pole, tree or oncoming car,” Ms Speight says.


Ms Speight says a small mistake on the road can have tragic consequences - not just for the drivers and passengers affected, but also for their family and friends who have to live with the consequences of a serious crash.


Head-on crashes are the leading cause of death on state highways and account for approximately half of all deaths recorded. Safety barriers offer a second chance. They help reduce the chance of a simple mistake costing lives and destroying families.”


Barrier Locations:

  • The median barrier will be on State Highway 60 from the Dominion Road intersection to the Harley Road intersection.
  • There will be breaks within the median barrier at Gardner Valley Road, Tasman View Road, and Stagecoach Road (the entrance closer to Mapua) intersections. These intersections will continue to operate how they currently do.
  • A right-hand turn bay will be installed on Tasman View Road. There will also be a gap at the forestry access road approximately one-kilometre past Tasman View Road and Stagecoach Road (the entrance closer to Motueka). These intersections will be left-in / left-out, except for emergency vehicles, which can use them as turnaround points during an emergency.


Ms Speight says every effort is being made to make sure the new safety measures can be installed as efficiently as possible. Wide centre lines are already in place in sections of the state highway where the median barrier will be installed.


“We are working with our contractor on traffic management to ensure disruptions for drivers are minimised and are looking at keeping the highway open in both directions during the day.”

“There will be temporary speed limits in place while work is underway, and road users can expect delays. We ask drivers to be patient and follow all traffic management in place. It is there to keep drivers and our road crews safe,” Ms Speight says.


More details about the specific work sites, project schedules, and impact on traffic will be released soon, and will be regularly updated as work proceeds.

Road safety barriers

Road safety barriers are like your second chance on the road, preventing accidents from turning into tragedies. These barriers act as a safety net, catching your vehicle if it veers off the road and stopping you from colliding with things like poles, trees, or ditches.

On busy roads, barriers also keep you safe by creating a physical barrier between you and oncoming traffic. This helps avoid deadly head-on crashes, a major cause of severe injuries and fatalities. If you accidentally lose control and cross the centreline, these barriers provide crucial protection, reducing the risk of significant harm.

Check out this video:

Flexible median barrier stops a head-on crash (YouTube Video)

that illustrates how median barriers in Aotearoa saved lives by preventing a head-on collision. A car that was about to crash into a large truck in the opposite lane was stopped by the flexible barrier in the middle. Thanks to this safety measure, both drivers were able to return home to their families and friends without serious injuries. Watch the video to see how these barriers make a real difference in road safety.

Felix Marwick Media Manager NZTA/Waka Kotahi

Pigeon Post News, Richmond


  1. Why not put a round about

  2. This is a great idea. Dropping the speed limit back is another. Going fast often eliminates any chance a driver might have of correcting a possibly fatal error.

    1. Don't agree to dropping speed limits. It creates more congestion and more frustration. It's an open road!


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