The NZ Transport Agency is giving early notice of a series of full night time closures of State Highway 2 over the Remutaka Hill in March to allow for essential maintenance work to be carried out.
The five consecutive night closures, from 9pm to 5am, are scheduled from Sunday 3 March to Friday morning 8 March, with a further five consecutive night closures from Sunday 24 March to Friday morning 29 March.
Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says the night time maintenance work will significantly reduce the number of day time disruptions on the hill road, enable better quality work, and increase the safety of maintenance crews.
“Subject to weather, we expect the night works will at least halve the number of stop/go delays that road users are currently experiencing when travelling over the Remutaka Hill during the day,” Mr Owen says.
Around 350 vehicles use the Remutaka Hill Road at night between 9pm and 5am, compared to around 6,300 vehicles during the day. The State Highway 2 road is the main artery linking the Wellington and Wairarapa regions with an average of over 6,650 vehicles using the road daily. Effective maintenance of the road is critical for both the Wellington and Wairarapa communities.
“The steep, narrow road over the Remutaka Hill is a difficult road to maintain. Current maintenance is during the day, with approximately 300 stop/go road works during the year causing significant disruptions for motorists,” Mr Owen says.
“Most importantly, the constrained working environment does not meet our safety expectations for our workers. We want to ensure our road crews are working in a safe environment, and ensure the road is in a great condition for road users.”
The full road closure is similar to full closures of tunnels in Wellington for maintenance and the closure of State Highway 58 through Whitby.
“We know closing the hill road will have an impact on road users in the evening. That’s why we are giving plenty of notice so people are able to reschedule their journeys, or allow more time for the detour via Pahiatua Track or Saddle Road,” Mr Owen says.
Further information on the Remutaka Hill Road closures is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/remutaka(external link)
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