This image, from today’s Dominion-Post, shows the coming realignment of the worst of the Rimutaka hill road – all on the Wellington side of the summit. Work starts later this month and completion can’t come soon enough for those of us who travel back and forth regularly, hoping we won’t meet big trucks on the corners.
It’s a follow-on from the realignment work completed in 2006 on the Te Marua to Kaitoke section of the road between Wellington and Wairarapa. There are bends on the Wairarapa side of the summit that would also benefit from a bulldozer, and I hope they’re next on the list.
The terrain is such that it will never be an easy road. A road tunnel would transform the trip, but the cost would be so high that it would never get off the ground…well, in this case, under the ground. Legend has it that the Americans volunteered to dig a road tunnel during the Second World War, presumably to improve access to the Featherston Army Camp. Google was unable to confirm.
I just hope that if the road becomes substantially better, it doesn’t attract more logging trucks – in which case we’ll be back to square one again.
The Dominion-Post article is here.