The turnaround bay in Clareville – part of Waka Kotahi NZTA’s SH2 Safety Improvements project – opens tomorrow.
The highway now has a wire median barrier, so the new bay is the first place south of the Wilton Rd roundabout where southbound drivers can change direction to head north.
Leading up to the bay, paint markings form a visual ‘pocket’, signalling drivers to slow down, stop, and wait before safely making a right turn into the bay.
Waka Kotahi said the pocket would reduce the potential for rear-end crashes from following vehicles.
The bay allows drivers to turn into a safe area and wait for a clear space in oncoming traffic before heading north again on the highway.
The bay can accommodate larger vehicles, including semi-trailer trucks and has lighting to help people see at night.
Southbound trucks heading to Ravensdown will need to turn at the turning bay and head back 2.8km north because the wire barrier means they can no longer right-tun into the depot.
The wire barrier is designed to stop head-on collisions and cars swerving into oncoming traffic. It will also prevent vehicles from rolling after impact.
The project’s main construction is due to finish at the end of this month or the start of September.
Contractors will return to lay the top asphalt layer and paint the final road markings when the weather is drier in November or December.