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Turnaround bay opens

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.


  1. Makes little to no sense. To my mind this will actually increase the chances of collision from both oncoming traffic as vehicles cross the road to enter the turnaround and from vehicles being rear-ended as they stop to make the crossing. This whole ‘safety upgrade’ has been a massive fiasco and will continue to be one. It’s cost an arm and a leg, caused immense inconvenience for nearly 2 years and I doubt will improve on the safety levels of this stretch of road as it purports it will achieve. All the whole exercise will achieve is to stymie road user travel.

  2. How can it be safer for big trucks to turn around into this new area which is near a northbound curve. If they could turn into the ravens down drive they would be off the road quicker and also it’s on a long straight. Does not make any logical sense and financially an ext 5 km travel for each truck trip plus more on ther next trip if they are going south.

  3. So speed limits will be back to normal 80k. Can’t wait Hughes line is being used as a racetrack.

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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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