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SH5 Waiotapu banner

Project introduction

We want to make the 47km section of SH5, beginning at Wairakei in the south through to the SH5/SH38 intersection at Rainbow Mountain in the north, safer for everyone who uses it.

  • Estimated project cost

    $11 million
  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status


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Making your road safer

We’re focusing on three risky sections of the highway (a total of 23km in length) - the northern end, towards SH38, centrally (around Mihi and the Waikato River) and at the southern end, at Wairakei. Unexpected curves, roadside hazards such as ditches and narrow shoulders mean these sections of the road have a higher crash risk. Intersection visibility is also an area of concern.

Between 2008 and 2017 there were eight deaths and 46 serious injuries on this stretch of road. Many of these crashes were head-on collisions or involved vehicles running off the road and hitting roadside hazards like trees, ditches and fences.

What we are doing

To help prevent further crashes we’re planning:

  • widening the road shoulder to give drivers more room to recover if they veer off the road
  • adding roadside safety barriers to protect people from hazards like trees, ditches and fences if their vehicle leaves the road
  • widening the centreline to help keep vehicles apart, reducing the risk of head-on crashes
  • improving signs and road markings to alert drivers to oncoming hazards and make the road easier to read.

What's happening and when?

Mid 2019: Construction on the northern section, towards SH38 and Waiotapu starts.

Late 2019/early 2020: Construction of central and Wairakei sections due to start.