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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1088985 15-Jul-2014 07:35
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turnin: When you "improve" roads be careful what you wish for. Long straight wide roads are boring, better to spend the money on driver training
Having done a lot of driving in the US on their State highway network I have to say that I can drive a lot further with much less fatigue than driving in New Zealand.  In fact, I just came back from driving to Maine (6 hour drive) and I was less fatigued by it than doing Wgtn -> Taupo.  The US highways aren't straight, but their frequent curves have a far greater radius than NZ's.

In addition, despite driving the same model car as in NZ (Honda Jazz/Fit), I can also say that the fuel economy is also much improved, even with similar topographical conditions to NZ further up north toward Acadia.  The thing that interested me was that all the way up to Bangor featured a dual/tri/quad carriageway with a median.

oxnsox: We're not the only country having trouble funding road maintenance. I remember hearing on radio a month or so back that the United States federal road funding authority was close to broke. But I had to laugh when I heard the reason. Apparently the move to more fuel efficient vehicles there has been so successful they're selling less fuel and collecting less taxes. ...
It's improved fuel consumption and decreased per-capita mileage, but also legislative.  Basically, the Republicans who control the house are loathe to increase the federal fuel tax (some Tea Party members swear an oath against tax increases).  The tax hasn't increased since 1993, when it was set at aprrox NZ 5c a litre, with a further 9c/l (average) state tax.  Therefore in real terms it's dropped substantially in that time. In NZ the fuel tax is 50c.

Of course, the other issue they're facing is that because they built the network out very quickly in the 50s, a huge proportion of the bridges are either reaching the end of their design life or mid-life refurbishment ages.  As to the road surface itself, I've found it to be built and maintained to pretty high standards and there seems to be much less in the way of roadworks, so I imagine they last longer.

In regard to the US decreases in miles travelled, IMHO the GFC and high fuel prices played a major role in the US.  It's hard to overstate just how much more affected the US was than NZ.  Total miles driven levelled off at ~3,000 trillion miles in 06/07/08 and dipped only slightly since.  The economy is now recovering, however, and it looks like this year is going to see a increase in miles travelled.  I'm sure there are structural changes that are playing a role, for example the effect of the internet, but the growing economy is going to increase mileage again.

Even despite fractional changes in mileage, there is still a lot New Zealand can do to continue to make it's roads more forgiving to driver error...

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  Reply # 1089037 15-Jul-2014 08:53
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k1wi:Having done a lot of driving in the US on their State highway network I have to say that I can drive a lot further with much less fatigue than driving in New Zealand.  In fact, I just came back from driving to Maine (6 hour drive) and I was less fatigued by it than doing Wgtn -> Taupo.  The US highways aren't straight, but their frequent curves have a far greater radius than NZ's.

their landscape/topography is different. they have no gorges and passes to hug.


In addition, despite driving the same model car as in NZ (Honda Jazz/Fit), I can also say that the fuel economy is also much improved, even with similar topographical conditions to NZ further up north toward Acadia.  The thing that interested me was that all the way up to Bangor featured a dual/tri/quad carriageway with a median.

must be less hilly and you'd be amazed how much fuel you save by not going up and down hills and tight cornering. my gas guzzler 3L old mitsi uses 9L/100km on the straight roads between timaru and christchurch, and 13L/100km between Oamaru and Dunedin


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1089038 15-Jul-2014 08:54
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oxnsox: We're not the only country having trouble funding road maintenance. I remember hearing on radio a month or so back that the United States federal road funding authority was close to broke. But I had to laugh when I heard the reason. Apparently the move to more fuel efficient vehicles there has been so successful they're selling less fuel and collecting less taxes. ...


must be HUUUGe for them - imagine mass migration from 20L/100km ford pickups to 5L/100km modern small cars!

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  Reply # 1089663 16-Jul-2014 03:41
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joker97: their landscape/topography is different. they have no gorges and passes to hug.


joker97: must be less hilly and you'd be amazed how much fuel you save by not going up and down hills and tight cornering. my gas guzzler 3L old mitsi uses 9L/100km on the straight roads between timaru and christchurch, and 13L/100km between Oamaru and Dunedin


The topography wasn't actually that much different to that going through the lower half of the north Island, which has a mix of flat, undulating and hilly terrain.  My experience of the difference between NZ and the US highway system is akin to SH1 before/after Hihitahi Bluffs Realignment project or the Waikato expressway.  The difference is they engineered and developed the whole network in the 50s and have benefited from it [safety/efficiency etc] ever since, while NZ has been making incremental improvements to the existing network over a long period of time.

The other big difference I have noticed between the US and NZ single-carriageway roads is road markings.  The US appears to have no-overtaking markings as the default (double yellow), while in NZ the default marking is overtaking allowed (broken white).  That is, in the US they mark areas safe to overtake, whereas NZ marks areas where you are not allowed to overtake.  The result is there are a lot of areas in NZ that should really be double yellow lines.  Where NZ does it better is local roads, which provide a lot more information through its road markings than US local roads do [stop signs are effectively optionally marked].

Personally, I would like to see SH1 between Wgtn and Auck upgraded over time so that there is a median division the full length, with adequate shoulders.  Ideally that would be dual-carriageway with minimal use of 2+1 lanes at the really rugged sections, which while better than single carriageway has its own limitations.  Let drivers drive at their own speed (within the speed limit) without holding up traffic.  New two-lane projects on SH1 should be designed so that they can be upgraded to dual-carriageway/[2+1 where necessary], ideally by leaving space for the lanes in the median strip, rather than the shoulder strip. The other improvement I'd like to see more generally is more forgiving shoulders.


That said, SH1 upgrades should occur in parallel with other higher need areas [such as those identified by kiwiRAP].  So back to the OP's question, the roads I'd like to see upgraded are listed:

http://www.kiwirap.org.nz/pdf/KiwiRAP%20FINAL%20risk%20mapping%20national%20summary%20for%20website.pdf



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  Reply # 1105928 10-Aug-2014 16:35
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SH1 to Levin upgrade to proceed 

About time. That goat track south of Levin is terrible in places.




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  Reply # 1105929 10-Aug-2014 16:36
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SH1 Auckland to Whangarei.



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  Reply # 1105931 10-Aug-2014 16:39
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TimA: SH1 Auckland to Whangarei.


I believe that is to go ahead in the medium term. There was a news article about it not so long ago.




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  Reply # 1105942 10-Aug-2014 17:11
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TimA: SH1 Auckland to Whangarei.


the holiday highway :)

manukau to papakura on SH1 has been sped up which is good, i just hope they do a good job of it and will be keeping an eye on it all.

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  Reply # 1105987 10-Aug-2014 18:14
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DarthKermit:
TimA: SH1 Auckland to Whangarei.


I believe that is to go ahead in the medium term. There was a news article about it not so long ago.


Only the stuff in the Auckland Region at a cost of $1.2b from the Land Transport Fund, which is currently not generating as much as it used to!  Complete waste of money in my opinion when operation lifesaver could have achieved the safety benefits for a 5th of that value if not more.  Still don't let economics get in the way of the RONS eh?

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  Reply # 1106144 11-Aug-2014 05:12
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DarthKermit:
TimA: SH1 Auckland to Whangarei.


I believe that is to go ahead in the medium term. There was a news article about it not so long ago.


If only it was Auckland to Whangarei..
It's Puhoi to Warkworth right now, doubt we'll see the Warkworth-Wellsford part in my lifetime.
The bit of road over the Brynderwyns South side's been in the too hard basket since the 1930s.. fun to drive dry in my buzzbox, not so much with the loaded truck/trailer at night in the rain.



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  Reply # 1106151 11-Aug-2014 07:04
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^^^

I'll try to find that news article when I have time later today. laughing




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  Reply # 1106167 11-Aug-2014 08:33
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DarthKermit: ^^^

I'll try to find that news article when I have time later today. laughing


You should find its the Puhoi to Wellsford 'Road of National Significance'.  To be honest, given the ground conditions in the dome valley area they won't be extending the route past warkworth any time soon.  The whole road is a bit dubious in my opinion as it has very little time saving benefits generally, is all in Auckland and therefore has no real effect on the northland economy and has a low benefit cost ratio, much lower than what other local roading authorities must achieve to get funding from the National Land Transport Fund (& NLTP).

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  Reply # 1106189 11-Aug-2014 09:25
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An extra lane southbound on the Southern Motorway (SH1) from Manukau to Takanini (or even Papakura) would be great.
As would 3-laning the bridge at the Mount Wellington Interchange.

Looking forward to SH1 being completed through to Cambridge (Waikato Expressway). It will take a lot of pressure off SH26 and SH1B, though I expect a lot of pressure will go on the stretch past Karapiro between Cambridge and Tirau.

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  Reply # 1106201 11-Aug-2014 09:32
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This report shows the the cost/benefit ratio of the RONS to be low - there are so many more deserving projects that could have been funded instead, but the government has made this political - vote for us and we will build roads that are not needed and deny funding to ones that are.

http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rons-economic-assessment-2010-05/docs/full-report.pdf

Another example is nearly $0.5 billion being suggested for linking SH18 to SH1 near albany - linking less than 2km of motorway - I'm not denying it will help traffic flow, but again is this a sensible use of half a billion of road funding when there is only a limited amount in the pot?

We hear enough complaints about petrol tax as it is, but to build some of the grandiose schemes suggested (like SH1 motorway standard for the length of the country) are just impossible in a country our size.  Before anyone suggests toll roads as being the panacea, in the first 3 years of the northern toll road operating, only half the toll you paid went towards paying for the road, the other 50% went on administration/collection expenses.  So I believe if people want more roads funded, increasing the petrol tax is the most efficient way to do it, since it's already being collected.  But then that goes back to the start of this paragraph, people hate petrol tax but expect high quality roads!




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  Reply # 1106668 11-Aug-2014 18:57
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Benoire:
DarthKermit: ^^^

I'll try to find that news article when I have time later today. laughing


You should find its the Puhoi to Wellsford 'Road of National Significance'.  To be honest, given the ground conditions in the dome valley area they won't be extending the route past warkworth any time soon.  The whole road is a bit dubious in my opinion as it has very little time saving benefits generally, is all in Auckland and therefore has no real effect on the northland economy and has a low benefit cost ratio, much lower than what other local roading authorities must achieve to get funding from the National Land Transport Fund (& NLTP).


Yes it was. My mistake. There are no firm plans to extend the motorway as far as Whangarei yet.

Puhoi to Wellsford motorway extension




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