Making the road safer
State Highway 1 Weld Pass is located 12km south of Blenheim and 10km north of Seddon. The pass starts at the Seventeen Valley Stream to the north and winds up the side of a valley approximately 180m to its highest point, before dropping down to the Utuwai Overpass to the south.
This road is part of a vital link between Christchurch and Picton. It is used for freight, by tourists, holidaymakers and people driving to work. Tight corners and steep drop offs make it a high-risk road. Between January 2007 and December 2016, 12 people were seriously injured on this stretch of road.
Previous investigations [PDF, 10 MB] into the route between Picton and Christchurch highlighted that there is a very poor road safety record on the section of highway between Seventeen Valley Stream to the Utuwai Overpass. These investigations identified the need for safety improvements.
We’re now looking at a range of safety improvements to prevent deaths and serious injuries. These include wide road shoulders so drivers have room to recover if they make a mistake, safety barriers along the side and centre of the road to prevent drivers running off the road or having head-on crashes, and slow vehicle lanes so people can safely pass slower vehicles on uphill sections.