Rimutaka safety improvements rumbling along


Work is underway on the Rimutaka Hill Road to make the challenging State Highway 2 route safer for motorists.

The equivalent of 23km of rumble strips and more than 3km of new roadside barriers are being installed to provide an extra level of safety for motorists travelling between Wairarapa and Wellington.

The work will run through to June and includes three new sections of roadside barrier each more than 1km long, improved signage, resurfacing of some sections, as well as installing rumble strips across the centre line.

Rumble strips are raised road markings that can be placed along the traffic lane white edgeline and on centrelines. When vehicles drive over the markings the rumbling effect acts as a wake-up call, alerting drivers that they have veered out of their lane.

“Rumble strips are one of the most cost-effective road safety improvements available, with the potential to reduce injury crashes by 20% to 45% in the locations where they’re installed,” said Mark Owen, the NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Performance Manager, Central.

Due to the winding nature of the Rimutaka Hill Road, the rumble strips are being placed on top of and alongside the centreline, protruding from the painted line, creating a tooth-like effect that will be visible to all road users.

The Transport Agency advises motorists to expect delays on the hill over the next few weeks.  Crews will be on site during daylight hours, and temporary traffic management systems will be in place.

“We thank motorists for their patience, and we know the public are very understanding when they see crews working to make their journeys safer.”

Since 2010, the Transport Agency has invested millions in improving the safety on SH2 over the Rimutaka Hill Road, including the Muldoon’s Corner Realignment.

Mr Owen says a safe transport system depends on safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, safer drivers, and safer vehicles. He says motorists can do their part by watching their speeds, driving with care and to the conditions, and ensuring their vehicles and tyres are well maintained.