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Project introduction

State Highway 2 over the Remutaka Hill closes for its annual maintenance and slip prevention work on various nights between November and June. A schedule will be publicised in advance. The highway may have to close at other times for emergency works, weather or accidents.

Upcoming resilience works and night closures

SH2 Remutaka – emergency works

Due to the recent severe weather event, there will be an overnight closure of Remutaka Hill.

This will occur from 9pm Monday 26 July to 4am Tuesday 27 July to allow contractors to complete essential repairs.

The work will include removing slips, clearing culverts, replacing barriers and repairing the road.

Contractors will escort vehicles across the hill at approximately these times. Please be prepared to wait.

10:30pm Hutt to Featherston side
11:30pm Featherston to Hutt side
12:30am Hutt to Featherston side
1:30am Featherston to Hutt side

To assist with planning, please email the contractor in advance with the time you will need the escorted service: On the night, please queue at the closure points as directed by the traffic controllers. Access will be available for emergency services throughout the closure.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while our contractors undertake these essential repairs.

  • Estimated project dates

    Nov 2020–Jun 2021
  • Project type

    Road maintenance
  • Project status


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Closure times and closure points 2020–2021

The Remutaka Hill road full night closures from 9pm to 4am during the period between 8 November 2020 and 18 June 2021. Note that all vehicles on the Remutaka Hill prior to 9pm will be able to exit on the other side.

No. of nights Start date (Sunday 9pm) End date (4am) Completed
5 8 November 2020 Friday 13 November 2020 Yes
1 13 December 2020 Monday 14 December 2020 Yes
5 17 January 2021 Friday 22 January 2021 Yes
1 14 February 2021 Monday 15 February 2021 Yes
5 7 March 2021 Friday 12 March 2021 Yes
1 11 April 2021 Monday 12 April 2021 Yes
10 16 May 2021 Friday 25 June 2021  
5 13 June 2021 Friday 18 June 2021 Moved to May

Access will be available for emergency services throughout the closure.

A shuttle van service is available for night-shift workers and essential travel and should be booked in advance, please email us, Monday to Friday.

Email us

The night-time closures will increase safety for maintenance crews, significantly reduce the number of day time disruptions on the Hill Road and enable better quality maintenance and slip prevention work.

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.

  • Closure points

    The closure points are the Pākuratahi Bridge on the Upper Hutt side and the twin bridges on the Featherston side. These are the same closure points as when the Remutaka Hill road is closed due to snow or high winds.

  • Contact us

    A limited shuttle service will be provided for shift workers and others with essential commitments.  

    If you have any particular concerns about these planned closures, including shift work, contact us at

    One of our team will contact you to discuss your particular situation.



The SH2 Remutaka Hill road is the main artery linking the Wellington and Wairarapa regions, with an average of over 6,650 vehicles using the road daily. Of the 6,650 vehicles, around 291 use the road between 9pm and 4am. With the nearest detour route over 100km away, effective maintenance of the road is critical for both the Wellington and Wairarapa communities.

The steep, narrow hill road is a difficult road to maintain. We previously maintained the road with approximately 300 stop/go road works during the year, mostly during the day. Road users faced delays nearly every day and there were several close calls for our workers.

This difficult working environment did not meet our safety requirements for our workers or for road users. It also did not enable the road to be maintained to the standard we expect.

The two block closures that occurred in March 2019 reduced the inconvenience of stop/go works to just five in the following six months and delivered higher quality maintenance work.

Most importantly, full closures of the road at night improved the safety of maintenance crews who previously operated machinery in a very constrained environment.

While we achieved a lot of high quality work during the closures in March, the Remutaka Hill Road is a high-use mountain road that requires ongoing maintenance to keep it safe and in optimal working order. Like a car, the more you use it, the more servicing it needs.

Based on these positive results, we’ll look to continue with night time road closures for maintenance work on the Hill Road in the coming years whilst we continue to monitor the benefits and impact to road users.

We also captured community and road user feedback to seek opportunities to improve the night time closure process in the future.

We're giving everyone early notice of the planned closures scheduled over the next 12 months so people can plan their journeys well in advance.

Work activities

Find out about the type of activities we're working on:

  • Slip prevention works

    From May 2020, we are also starting important slip prevention works on the Hill Road during the night time closures to protect road users and improve accessibility of the road. 

    There is a 260m length of slope on the hill that needs essential work to reduce the risk of falling rock and debris on to the road.

    We will be using a long-reach excavator to remove around 40 truck loads of loose material from the slope face at heights of up to 12 to 15m above the road.

    All of the work will be done at night, and the material brought down will be removed each night.

  • Maintenance works

    While the maintenance closures are to primarily enable road resurfacing (paving) to be safely done, we are scheduling as many works as possible into the closure times to reduce stop/go works throughout the year. This means the entire hill, from gate to gate, will be a worksite. At any time during the closures there could be 100 workers, doing up to 10 separate maintenance activities on the hill including:

    • Paving works (primary activity)
    • Road marking
    • Mowing and landscaping
    • Road inspections
    • Drainage inspections
    • Guardrail repair works
    • Signage maintenance
    • Edge marker post maintenance
    • Sump clearance
    • Road sweeping (includes litter collection, channel clearance etc).

Works completed and impact on traffic

Summary of works completed during the two blocks of overnight closures in March 2019.

  • Full description of works completed
    • 20,612 square metres – 4.1 lane kilometres – of paving (road resurfacing) including a long 600 metre length on the straight and curves north of Pākuratahi, and several shorter sections on both the Featherston and Kaitoke sides of the hill
    • 418 square metres of road surface repairs
    • Re-marking lane lines
    • 3 kilometres of rumble strips installed to improve road safety
    • Inspections to check the skid resistance of the road (SCRIM)
    • 44.5 kilometres of mowing – some sections to 4.5 metre high, higher than possible during the day
    • 479 metres of high shoulder clearance
    • 48 kilometres of weed spraying
    • Graffiti removal at Muldoon's Corner
    • 220 metres of crash damaged guardrail and posts repaired
    • 780 metres of guardrail reflectors installed
    • 8.2 kilometres of channel clearing
    • 9.5 kilometres of drainage inspected, cleared and repaired
    • 40 metres of drainage renewed
    • 6.5 kilometres of drainage inspected
    • 138 culvert inspections
    • 46 signs repaired or replaced.
  • Remutaka Hill road impact on traffic as of 1 October 2019

    By shifting from day works to night time closure works, we reduced the number of stop/go works on the Hill Road – dramatically.

    There have been just five stop/go works on the Remutaka Hill road in the past six months (29 March to 30 September 2019), compared to approximately 150 in the past six months and 300 in the full year prior to the closures.

    Before Stop/go works from 1 September 2018 to 1 March 2019 (6 months) 151
    March 2019 night closures of Remutaka Hill road 9
    After Stop/go works from 1 April to 1 October 2019 (6 months) 5