Overnight closures of Remutaka Hill to resume next month

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 16, 2020

Planned full night closures of State Highway 2 over the Remutaka Hill are set to resume from Sunday 8 November to enable essential maintenance and slip prevention works to be safely carried out.

The NZ Transport Agency is giving early notice of the planned closures scheduled over the next eight months, which include three blocks of five-night closures, one block of four-night closures and three one-night closures.

The first block of five-night closures starts on Sunday 8 November from 9pm to 4am Friday 13 November.

Regional transport systems manager Mark Owen says having the Remutaka Hill road fully closed to traffic is critical to ensuring the safety of maintenance crews while work is being done.

“The constrained working environment on the steep narrow Remutaka Hill Road does not meet our safety expectations for our workers. We want to ensure our road crews are working in a safe environment,” Owen says.

“The maintenance works will ensure the road is in good condition, and the slip prevention works will improve accessibility by reducing the risk of falling rocks and debris on to the road, for the safety of all road users.”

This will be the second series of overnight closures that began last year with the aim of reducing the number of daytime disruptions on the road and enabling better quality work. Previously, work on the Remutaka Hill Road had been done during the day, with approximately 300 stop/go road works throughout the year, causing significant disruptions for motorists.

“In the 18 months since we started the overnight closures in March last year, our team has been able to complete a huge amount of work in 24 overnight closures and has only required 15 stop/go works on the road at other times, mainly for emergency works or slip clearances. That‘s a 95 percent reduction compared with the previous 18 months when we had a total of 345 stop/go works, disrupting traffic every week.”

The State Highway 2 road is the main artery linking the Wellington and Wairarapa regions with an average of more than 7381 vehicles using the road daily. Effective maintenance of the road is critical for both the Wellington and Wairarapa communities.

About 313 vehicles travel on the Remutaka Hill Road each night between 9pm to 4am (based on 2019 data).

“We know closing the hill road will have an impact on road users in the evening. That‘s why we are giving plenty of notice so people are able to reschedule their journeys, or allow more time for the detour via Pahiatua Track or Saddle Road,” Owen says.

Access will be available for emergency services throughout all closures. A shuttle service is available for nightshift workers and essential travel only.

“We urge nightshift workers and others with essential travel to get in touch to discuss their travel options, including use of our shuttle service.”

Full list of planned night closures: 

Number of nights

Start date
(Sunday 9pm)

End date


8 November 2020

Friday 13 November 2020


13 December 2020

Monday 14 December 2020


17 January 2021

Thursday 21 January 2021


14 February 2021

Monday 15 February 2021


7 March 2021

Friday 12 March 2021


11 April 2021

Monday 12 April 2021


13 June 2021

Friday 18 June 2021