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Delays ahead on Rimutaka Hill

Road users will face delays for a month from March 20 as work to widen a tight corner on the Featherston side of the Rimutaka Hill Road is undertaken.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said in a statement yesterday the corner to be widened is approximately four kilometres below the summit.

NZTA regional performance manager Mark Owen said the corner was one of the tighter sections of the road.

The road will be widened by three metres at the narrowest point, and require the removal of 2700 cubic metres of soil and rock from the hillside

The project is expected to take four weeks with two solid weeks of major earthworks, during which time the road will be down to one lane and traffic controlled by mobile traffic lights.

“This is a major undertaking, both in terms of the physical works, and the management of traffic, particularly heavy vehicles such as logging trucks and wide loads,” Mr Owen said.

Motorists will have one lane to get past the work site with an additional one metre shoulder, which will allow larger trucks to pull longer trailers safely around the corner.

While the project is underway, those moving oversized and wide loads will need to provide notification. Applications for house movements would be assessed before their permit is issued.

Work on the $250,000 project has been designed to be completed as efficiently as possible with the least amount of disruption.

The final stage of the project would be the repositioning of a new guardrail.

In addition, construction is planned to begin after this winter at a corner about 400 metres north, to install a new safety barrier and widen the road, providing more room for oncoming vehicles travelling around the corner.

“The Rimutaka Hill Road forms a critical part of State Highway 2,” Mr Owen said.

“We will continue to maintain and improve the highway to keep it open and safe.”

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