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Intersection safety improvements on the cards for Omau Cape Foulwind

04 Dec 2023

Buller District Council is working towards upgrading the Omau intersection due to road safety concerns and to provide a safer route for cyclists and walkers on the Kawatiri Coastal Trail.   

The intersection of Lighthouse, Omau, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay and Limestone Roads is currently a 100 km/h speed area. With so many roads entering the intersection it is difficult for drivers to negotiate the road safely.  

The Omau - Cape Foulwind area has recently seen investment and subdivision development. This requires council to review the local road infrastructure so it remains fit for purpose into the future.

Manager infrastructure delivery Eric de Boer says: “Council has contracted civil and traffic engineers to investigate options to upgrade the intersection and incorporate Limestone Road as the primary road into Omau from Westport.”

Two options were assessed for upgrading the intersection, alongside a traffic safety assessment undertaken by independent peer review.

The first option considered giving Limestone Road (the now unused ex-Holcim haul road) priority as a T-intersection, with Tauranga Bay Road a Give Way. The second option would see Limestone Road join with Tauranga Bay Road, and Lighthouse Road remaining a Give Way.

As a result of the assessment and review, the second option is preferred as it will create the safest road set up.

This option is designed to connect Cape Foulwind Road to Limestone Road west of Larsen Street, with a cul-de-sac head constructed at the dead end of Cape Foulwind Road.

Two intersections connecting Limestone and Cape Foulwind Roads would be constructed. Limestone Road would connect to Tauranga Bay Road, and Lighthouse Road would connect as a Give Way intersection.

Other works to realign Lighthouse Road along Limestone Road and to join Domain Road would be undertaken. Omau Road would then transition directly on to Cape Foulwind Road.

Mr de Boer says: "A drop-in session to discuss issues and options will be held at the Star Tavern, Omau on Tuesday 12 December from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.”

It is proposed to lower the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on the approaches to Omau and reduce speed to 50 km/h through Omau. Cape Foulwind Road, from Omau Road to the new cul-de-sac is proposed to be 30 km/h to accommodate the Kawatiri Coastal Trail and a pedestrian walkway.

Mr de Boer says: " This project will promote greater safety for all road users. The Omau intersection will be made much safer by shifting through traffic from Cape Foulwind Road to Limestone Road, creating a low-speed shared road space for the Kawatiri Coastal Trail and pedestrians on Cape Foulwind Road.”

Council has $594,000 of funding available for this project in the 2023/24 financial year, 72% of which has been contributed by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and the remaining 28% funded by council. 

Further budget has been requested from Waka Kotahi for 2024/25 financial year in order to complete the project. Should funding be approved, works are anticipated to start mid-2024.

This further funding will be confirmed within the next three months. If it is not approved, council will review the design and evaluate which parts of the road realignment can be progressed with the remaining funding.

Council welcomes the community’s feedback and questions can also be sent to with the subject ‘Omau intersection safety improvements.’


For further information please contact:
Manager Infrastructure Delivery
Eric de Boer