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An open and shut case?

Or does Carterton’s Norman Ave still have a hope of reopening?

A reopening for an intersection infamous for crashes could be on the table, but such a decision is far in the future.
The intersection of Norman Ave and State Highway 2 was a known crash black spot. Since 2000, there had been more than 40 crashes including two that were fatal in 2000 and 2007.
The road had been used by businesses at Waingawa Industrial Park. However, since closing, vehicles had been diverted further north down Norfolk Rd where concerns over high traffic levels were raised.

Once these safety improvements have been completed, the council may be in a position to reconsider reopening the Norman Ave intersection.
– Spokesperson for Carterton District Council

A spokesperson for Carterton District Council said the council temporarily closed the intersection of Norman Avenue and State Highway 2 [SH2] in 2019 due to ongoing safety concerns.
“Since then, Waka Kotahi has started work on the SH2 safety improvements, which includes flexible safety barriers in various locations on the highway between Masterton and Carterton and three new roundabouts at Ngaumutawa Rd, Norfolk Rd and East Taratahi Rd.

Norman Ave
Norman Ave

“Once these safety improvements have been completed, the council may be in a position to reconsider reopening the Norman Ave intersection as a left-in, left-out only, or a one-way road with a left turn in from the State Highway.
“This reconsideration will also align with the Waingawa infrastructure review we will be doing over the next financial year which takes into consideration the roading needs and growth in the Waingawa industrial area. We are in regular communication with the Waingawa Industrial Estate business owners to ensure they are aware of the Council’s plans and that we are informed of their current and future needs.”

Norman Ave

JNL Wairarapa mill general manager Karl Burling said he would be surprised if the road ever reopened.
“It would be great if it did.
“We have our concerns with the increased traffic – we’ve got 200 staff crossing the road there.
Burling said they had been petitioning CDC for a long time for a speed reduction but had so far been unsuccessful.
“Primarily JNL’s concern with Norfolk Rd closing is all that traffic.
“We have staff crossing the road and we wanted it [Norfolk Rd] reduced to a 70kmh zone.”
The initial decision to block off the road with concrete barriers came after more than 18 months of discussions between the council and Waka Kotahi. At the time, the Times-Age reported that at least one business owner at the Waingawa Business Park was unaware the road was to be closed.

However, Waka Kotahi NZTA regional transport systems manager Mark Owen said at the time that the closure was just phase one of the safety improvements along SH2.
“It was great council took the initiative to close Norman Ave.
“I know that some people are frustrated with the closure. But it could save a life or avoid a fairly serious accident.”

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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