For the team maintaining the critical SH2 link between Wellington and Wairarapa there’s some irony in the name Remutaka Hill. In te Reo ‘Remutaka’ means ‘sitting down to rest’.
For the team, part of the Capital Journeys® road maintenance JV with WSP, there was no sitting down or resting as they packed five nights work into two nights in May.
To maximise safety for the team and road users on the 555 metre-high pass, Capital Journeys® is concentrating maintenance and slip prevention work on the road into short bursts. There are three blocks of five-night closures and four Sunday night closures between 10 November 2019 and 14 September 2020.
The focus in the most recent closure was rock scaling and safety resilience works. Bad weather meant the team need to be resilient, too.
“While the full closure approach has eliminated the traffic hazard, working through the night in this often wet and windy environment presents its own challenges,” Regional Manager Daren Courtnage said.
“The team did a great job in reassessing the planned work to condense the plan to two nights without compromising safety, or running late on re-opening the road.”
Around 250 metres of road had overhanging soil and loose rock removed to a height of 15 metres, using 20 tonne excavators with long-reach attachments. Almost 50 truckloads of material was removed over two nights.
The team also completed a 20-metre retaining wall, installed more motorcycle safety rails (taking the total of railing to 893 metres) and additional guardrail reflectors (now covering 80% of the hill road).