A multimillion-dollar overhaul of a killer stretch of State Highway 2 near Wellington is now complete. River Road has seen seven head-on crashes in the five-year period prior to the commencement of this project, with two tragically resulting in fatalities. A Taupo couple, whose lives changed forever when they lost their 18-year old daughter in a head-on collision in 2005, have been tireless advocates for making the highway safer with the installation of a median barrier.
CSP Pacific’s Armorwire Median TL-4 Cable Barrier System was installed on the 3.4 km stretch of highway and is intended to prevent head-on crashes such as those that have resulted in fatalities. As well as the new wire rope barrier, the project included widening the road to provide 2.5m shoulders either side of the carriageway and a three-metre central median strip.
The wider shoulders allow a vehicle to stop clear of other traffic and the wider median strip also provides adequate deflection space if the barrier is hit so other motorists are not endangered.
“Opus were commissioned by NZTA to investigate the installation of a wire rope barrier and improve the safety of this site,” said Sheryn Reilly from Opus Consultants. “The safety improvement project was approved and work to widen the existing site, and installation of the CSP Pacific’s Armorwire Barrier System, was undertaken from June 2010 to Sept 2011.”
|“With River Road running parallel to the Hutt River the roadway was constructed on river rock which caused some difficulties when it came to the installation of the Armorwire Cable Barrier Posts,” said Jeremy Mallender, Area Sales Manager for CSP Pacific. “We had to redesign the anchor points of the posts so they could be installed in a much shallower, wider concrete footing.”|
Different options for the anchor point foundations were trialled with CSP Pacific able to redesign the posts and have them ready well in time for installation. The work was also completed well inside the scheduled time frames, despite the project having increased in scope. This is the first Armorwire Cable Barrier System in the Wellington region. The client is happy and the local people can feel safer with the median barrier now in place.