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Roadworks finish line getting slowly closer

No exact completion date has been confirmed for the Carterton-Masterton SH2 roadworks, but Waka Kotahi NZTA indicates work will still be wrapped up next month.

Contractors will return for three weeks in late November or early December for line marking and to lay the final asphalt layers.

This week The Times-Age asked Waka Kotahi what date in August it will complete construction work and remove the temporary speed limits on the corridor.

The transport agency could not yet confirm specifically but said it will put out a statement to confirm completion closer to the time.

It confirmed that work is running to schedule.

The roadworks – the scene of crashes and traffic jams – have been a controversial feature of Wairarapa for the past year.

When the project of installing roundabouts and median barriers began last August, Waka Kotahi’s initial plan was to build over two years, taking one roundabout at a time.

But it decided to revise the schedule to work on all three roundabouts concurrently, creating more disruption to traffic but for a shorter period.

A week after work started, there were six crashes in six days, including a five-vehicle nose-to-tail, causing Waka Kotahi to close both passing lanes and impose speed limits of 70kmh or lower across the entire project area.

Since March this year, the new roundabout road layouts have caused traffic jams to stretch for kilometres, with some motorists reporting delays of over an hour.

Over 1300 members of the public submitted feedback on the safety improvements in 2001.

The roundabouts at Ngaumutawa Rd and Norfolk Rd had broad public support, as the two intersections have been the site of several serious or fatal crashes.

The Wiltons Rd roundabout had less public support.

Almost all submitters opposed the decision to lower all 100kmh sections of SH2 between Masterton and Featherston to 80kmh.

The safety improvements are part of the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads by 40 per cent by 2030.


  1. And the roundabouts have left no room for cyclists to share with vehicles. Why is that not a concern, how narrow they are? Aren’t Waka Kotahi supposed to be encouraging more climate friendly transport? Norfolk full of trucks all day?

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Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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