Negotiating one of the tightest bends on the State Highway 2 Rimutaka Hill Road will soon be a distant memory, as the NZ Transport Agency prepares to open a new section of road bypassing the notorious Muldoon's Corner.
NZTA State Highway Manager Rod James says traffic will be bypassing the sharp bend this week, as the NZTA makes final cuts are made to create a new section of road through the hill, as part of its $16.5m Muldoon’s Corner safety improvements.
“Traffic is already running over some of the new road, and from today onwards will also be running through the old Muldoon's Corner, which is a tremendous milestone." says Mr James.
Nearly 205,000 cubic metres has been cut from the hillside and placed in the gullies below as the large safety project takes shape, less than two years after being brought forward by two and a half years as part of the Government’s Jobs and growth Stimulus Package.
Mr James says the project is running on time and on budget, and is due to be completed in mid 2012.
“The Rimutaka Hill Road is a challenging but crucial lifeline between Wellington and the Wairarapa, and these improvements will help ease a number of sharp corners and improve visibility to provide safer journeys for motorists.”
“Our contractors have done a superb job working in difficult conditions, and they deserve a big pat on the back for making such great progress on this important safety project.”
Traffic signals and width restrictions on heavy vehicles will be in place from Monday, 27 June until a second lane is formed through the corner. It is expected that two lanes will be open and width restrictions lifted from Saturday, 2 July, weather permitting.
The project is being built by Hawkins Infrastructure and managed by Opus International Consultants on behalf of the NZTA.