Poor weather and ground conditions delay Rimutaka Hill road safety upgrade

Last updated 12:42 06/10/2017

Safety improvements to the Rimutaka Hill road, north of Wellington, have been delayed.

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Bad weather and tricky ground conditions have delayed safety improvements on the Rimutaka Hill road until November.

A new half-bridge and safety barrier are being built on the state highway hill climb between Upper Hutt and Featherston, but the New Zealand Transport Agency now says it will take longer to finish than planned.

Regional Transport System Manager Mark Owen said excavation of the hillside revealed bedrock was deeper than expected, forcing the new half bridge to be modified.

"The half bridge has to sit on bedrock, not the loosely compacted material that the crews have been excavating," he said.

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"We've had to modify the design to accommodate the deeper foundations, adding extra time to the construction programme."

Severe wind and wet weather at the end of September also delayed the work and saw the Rimutaka Hill road closed on two occasions in the space of a week.

Owen said public safety was the the agency's priority.

"The biggest thing for us is getting the job done safely and minimise the impact on motorists and the trucking industry needing to travel over the hill."

The corner easing project is now scheduled to start in late November. The agency is hoping to complete major earthworks before Christmas.

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