Both lanes of the Rimutaka Hill Road, SH2 have been reopened to all traffic, including over-dimension loads, following the substantive completion of two safety improvement projects on the Featherston side of the hill.
Principal Project Manager Glen Prince says the work included curve easing on one of the tightest corners of the hill and the installation of new safety barriers and a half-bridge to widen the road in another area.
“These were two relatively modest projects in terms of overall scale, but they will make a big different to the safety and the integrity of this critical transport link,” Mr Prince says.
“More than 3500 cubic metres of earth needed to be removed to complete the curve easing project, increasing the width of the road to make it safer for large vehicles.”
“While further down the hill, the half bridge and new safety barrier are now in place and the road width has been increased by a metre.”
In all, almost 130 cubic metres of concrete, 15.7 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 40, 6m long rock anchors installed below the road surface were used to construct the new 5m high, 20m long half bridge.
A concrete barrier has been moved back to open the road to two lanes, but it will remain on the side of the road until the final slope protection work and new safety barrier can be installed.
This work will be completed under daytime stop/go traffic management and the road will be fully reopened each evening, so over dimension loads will still be able to use this route.
“Many commuters and businesses rely on this road to travel between Wellington and the Wairarapa so I want to pass on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s sincere thanks for their patience and understanding during the construction of these safety enhancement projects,” Mr Prince says.
“I also want to acknowledge our crews and traffic management teams who have worked tirelessly night after night and in some pretty challenging weather conditions on an exposed hillside to ensure this work was completed as quickly as possible.”