Crash draws focus on intersection’s safety

The layout of the intersection of Pakuranga Road and Ti Rakau Drive is coming under scrutiny from the public and the Howick Local Board. Times photo Wayne Martin

Urgent safety improvements have been requested for a busy east Auckland intersection where a vehicle flipped in an incident now being investigated by police.

A photo posted to social media on April 23 shows a vehicle upside down and on its roof at the intersection of Pakuranga Road and Ti Rakau Drive in Pakuranga.

Dozens of comments were made on the photo about how dangerous the intersection is.

A spokesperson for Counties Manukau Police says officers were called to reports of a crash on Pakuranga Road near Ti Rakau Drive at about 7.30pm on April 23, where a vehicle had rolled.

“There were no reported injuries,” the spokesperson says.

“Police are making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the incident.”

Works are being carried out to the intersection as part of the Eastern Busway project.

Howick Local Board member David Collings directed questions on the intersection to Auckland Transport elected member relationship manager Bruce Thomas at the board’s business meeting on April 19.

Collings said while he driving that day he had turned right from Ti Rakau Drive into Pakuranga Road.

“The right-hand lane had just been newly formed and was open.

“The cones had gone and there were three lanes.

“Nothing was in that lane [beside his vehicle] but it could have been a real danger.

“In the normal lane running around I came through and thought ‘they’ve finally opened up the three lanes’.

“Then I came around and it was only two lanes.

“I don’t know if someone had gone and grabbed the cones.”

Thomas said he didn’t know about “that particular configuration”, but “they are changing the configuration [at the intersection] every few days as they are getting closer to finishing the work”.

“You can see extra things have been done and it may have been somebody has not done it correctly or they have done it at the wrong time, but I’ll raise it with [the contractor] Fulton Hogan.

“They need to be certain at both ends as people join the road works so people have certainty.”

Collings said the road layout at the intersection is “certainly not correct”, to which Thomas replied, “I’m sure it will be different tomorrow”.

“What I’m saying is we can’t have it wrong,” Collings then said.

AT spokesperson Natalie Polley says the issue at the intersection stems from a lane reduction of three lanes from Ti Rakau Drive into two lanes in Pakuranga Road.

“With speeding vehicles either running changing lights, or speeding through the intersection, making an evasive manoeuvre and sliding out of control, particularly in wet conditions.”

Polley says the busway project is creating three lanes that exit Ti Rakau Drive into three lanes on Pakuranga Road.

“This means that speed will be reduced, as multiple vehicles will be making the arc in closer proximity, under clear line marked delineation.”

She says AT will look to implement additional solutions in future, including installing ski-resistant surfacing.

“Six months after construction the AT road safety team will monitor the intersection to assess whether or not further works are required.”