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Trial closure of Paekākāriki Hill Road extended

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The NZ Transport Agency and the Kāpiti Coast District Council are advising that following the first trial closure of Paekākāriki Hill Road on Friday 30 November, another temporary closure of the road will take place this Friday 7 December between 2pm and 7pm.

The Transport Agency and the Kāpiti Coast District Council are collaborating with NZ Police and Porirua City Council on temporarily closing Paekākāriki Hill Road between the State Highway 1 intersection and Grays Road at Pauatahanui, to trial its effectiveness in improving safety and journey times.

“Last Friday’s closure successfully reduced safety risks and improved travel times for over 90 per cent of motorists, overall reducing the journey times by about 1,500 hours when applying the travel time impact to each vehicle,” Transport Agency Systems Manager Mark Owen says.

“However the overall results were not as conclusive as they might have been due to a car blocking the clearway at Mana which held up northbound traffic and impacted on journey times from Wellington to Kāpiti.

“To get a clearer understanding of the benefits of closing Paekākāriki Hill Road during periods of high traffic volumes, we will be closing the road for the next three Fridays until Christmas,” Mr Owen says.

Kāpiti Coast District Council Infrastructure Services Group Manager Sean Mallon says the extra traffic using Paekākāriki Hill Road at peak times are at a higher risk of accidents, both on Paekākāriki Hill Road and when merging with traffic at Paekākāriki on State Highway 1.

“The significant number of vehicles that use Paekākāriki Hill Road as a shortcut and exit onto State Highway 1 at Paekākāriki also cause considerable delays for both southbound and northbound traffic.

“We’re hoping the closure will result in improvements to both safety and congestion. After Christmas, an online feedback questionnaire will gather comments from travellers and Paekākāriki Hill Road residents and businesses to help guide us in decisions on any future closures,” Mr Mallon says.

Paekākāriki Hill Road residents and others working or visiting properties on the road will be able to enter from the State Highway 1 at Paekākāriki and Pauatahanui.

However, those leaving a property on Paekākāriki Hill Road will not be able to exit onto State Highway 1 at Paekākāriki during the temporary closure and should use an alternate route such as Grays Road at Pauatahanui.

Emergency services will have full access to Paekākāriki Hill Road at all times and if there is an emergency on the highway, the closure will be lifted so that the road can be used as a detour.

The NZ Transport Agency thanks road users for their understanding and patience.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey this summer.

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