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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Work on a range of new road safety improvements on State Highway 2 Remutaka Hill is due to begin next month.

New side barriers and motorcycle under-barriers will be installed between the twin bridges on the Featherston side of the hill and Marchant Road, Kaitoke. Road signs and markings on Remutaka Hill will also be improved and upgraded.

The work, which will be underway until June, will start during planned night closures, due to begin on 10 March.

Mark Owen, Regional Manager Lower North Island/Top of the South, says Remutaka Hill is one of our country’s most high-risk sections of highway. 

“Between 2014 and 2023 there have been 382 crashes on the route. Five of these were fatal crashes, and another 29 were serious injury crashes.”  

“Over 60 percent of those who were killed or seriously injured were motorcyclists. The new safety improvements being installed will help reduce this. Under-barriers are a proven protection system that reduces the rate of deaths and serious injuries for motorcycle crashes,” Mr Owen says.

“People make mistakes, and safety improvements like better barriers mean that when a mistake or crash occurs, there’s less chance of people being killed or seriously injured.”

Mr Owen says making the road safer brings other benefits too.

“This is a busy stretch of highway with over 7,000 vehicles, on average, travelling over the hill each day. If we reduce the number of serious crashes, we cut the number of times the highway has to be closed to manage them.“

Road closures on the hill can cause significant disruption, with an approximate three-hour detour via the Saddle Road or Pahiatua Track, the only other road options.

SH2 Remutaka Hill resurfacing work.

The safety improvements are just part of the work to be carried out during the planned night closures.

Mr Owen says there will also be a tremendous amount of maintenance work done on the highway, including road resurfacing, clearing slips and rockfall, repairing potholes, and renewing line markings.

“It’s been four years since we introduced planned night closures to maintain the route. The old approach saw around 300 stop/go road works carried out on the hill yearly, which meant drivers encountered road work delays almost daily.”

“Over 7,000 vehicles use State Highway 2 Remutaka Hill daily. But, on average, just over 300 use the route at night. Night-time closures are, overall, far less disruptive for drivers. Also, they let our work crews deliver high-quality work much faster,” Mr Owen says.

NZTA/Waka Kotahi and the Wellington Transport Alliance want to thank road users for their understanding and cooperation during the upcoming closures. It is essential work on a vital infrastructure link.

Important information for Remutaka Hill closures:

  • Escorted crossings are available during closure nights but must be booked in advance. We always communicate well before planned closures and provide contact details so bookings can be made.
  • Bookings can be made online on the Waka Kotahi website – Remutaka Hill closure escort booking form(external link)
  • Bookings are essential – drivers who turn up without one risk being turned away. If you have a genuine emergency on the night, the hill manager will decide how best to help you.
  • The escorted crossings are for light vehicles only. To keep our contractors safe, heavy vehicles can’t be accommodated.
  • Full access is always available for emergency services.

State Highway 2, Remutaka Hill, planned night closures. January – June 2024

Nights closed

Start 9pm

Finish 4am



10 March

15 March

17 March

22 March


14 April

19 April


19 May

24 May

26 May

31 May


16 June

21 June

More information about planned maintenance closures for Remutaka Hill can be found on our website: