Finishing works about to begin for Masterton to Carterton safety improvement project


The final road surfacing works for the Masterton to Carterton Safety Improvements project will begin on State Highway 2 next week.

It is the final stage of the project, which began in late July 2022.It is the final stage of the project, which began in late July 2022. 

Jetesh Bhula, Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery, says contractors will lay the final road surface and paint new road markings, with work to begin on Wednesday, 1 November. It is scheduled to continue to Thursday, 14 December, depending on weather conditions. 

“We realise this last step has been a while coming. But the nature of road surfacing is such that it has to be done during warm and dry conditions to be effective and to ensure the new road surface bonds properly. It could not be done during winter’s wet and cold conditions.” 

“It will take around six weeks to complete this work. We must do it now, so the highway is ready for the summer holiday season,” Mr Bhula says. 

The work will be carried out at night when traffic volumes are at their lightest, Sunday to Thursday, with the highway closed to traffic between 8pm and 6am.  Drivers travelling southbound between Masterton and Carterton may have to detour via Cornwall Rd and Hughes Line. Temporary speed restrictions will be in place on newly sealed sections to allow the new road surface to bed in properly. 

The road surfacing works will create traffic delays between Masterton and Carterton. Drivers must factor this into this into their travel plans. Contractors will make every effort to complete the work as quickly as possible. However, it may be delayed if wet weather occurs. 

Meanwhile, Jetesh Bhula says the newly installed median barriers are already proving their worth. 

“There have already been three occasions when they have been hit. That’s three times they have stopped vehicles from heading into the oncoming lane and prevented a potential head-on collision.” 

“While this section of State Highway 2 is straight and perceived by many as being safe, the reality is that crashes can, and do, occur anywhere. Median barriers are a proven way of reducing deaths and injuries from head-on crashes,” Mr Bhula says. 

Waka Kotahi wants to thank residents and road users for their patience and understanding while the final stage of this project is completed. 

Works schedule

  • Wednesday 1 November to Thursday 14 December
  • Sunday to Thursday nights, 8pm to 6am
  • Contractors will begin to set up traffic management from 7pm
  • While the work is underway, southbound traffic may have to detour via Cornwall Rd and Hughes Line
  • These works are weather dependent and may be delayed. 

Background information

From January 2013 to December 2022, there were 487 crashes on this section of State Highway 2. This included five fatal and 32 serious injury incidents. The safety improvements built are designed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton. 

The Masterton to Carterton Safety Improvements Project has seen:

  • The construction of three major roundabouts and associated traffic islands. These remove the need for intersection speed zones.
  • Drivers entering State Highway 2 from East Taratahi, Wiltons, Norfolk, and Ngaumutawa Roads now have brand new purpose-designed roundabouts. This makes entry onto the state highway easier, safer, and quicker. 
  • A new turnaround bay at Clareville. Its ‘jug handle’ design gives people a safe place to turn around without crossing two lanes of traffic. It is designed for a range of vehicles, including large trucks and agricultural machines.
  • The installation of a significant length of wire-rope median barriers and the widening of the highway in sections. Research shows median barriers bring a 70–80 percent reduction in road fatalities. 
  • More information about the project can be found on our website:
    State Highway 2 Wairarapa highway improvements