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Corner widening scheduled for six sites on the Karamea Highway from March 2024

21 Feb 2024

Contractor WestReef Services Limited has been engaged by council to carry out corner widening improvement works at six sites on the Karamea Highway.

The work is scheduled to start on Friday 1 March, with the contractor’s surveyor initially setting out the worksite boundaries and beginning site clearance works.

As works progress through each of the six sites, single lane traffic management will guide vehicles through the worksites under reduced speed conditions. Traffic delays will be kept to a minimum and corner widening for all six sites is due for completion in April 2024.

This work will widen the road at each corner, providing adequate width for heavy rigid vehicles to safely negotiate the corners without crossing the centreline.

Additional width will be made available by shoulder widening and strengthening, as well as cutting back some existing roadside embankments to gain width for new road.

Overgrown vegetation will be removed to allow road users an improved forward-sight distance around tight bends, and on the approaches to single lane bridge structures such as the Glasseye Creek Bridge.

During 2022, council roading staff travelled with Westland Milk tanker drivers on their collection runs to record the route positions where drivers experienced difficulty staying within their lane.

Vehicle-mounted video cameras on the milk tankers were used to record when the trucks’ wheels crossed the painted centre line or the white road edge line while travelling along the route. From this survey, 16 sites were identified for improvement.

Of the 16 sites, six were identified for this initial package of work, with the remaining sites being subject to prioritisation, design and general consideration for later construction.  

The locations of the six sites within this project are defined by route position distances in kilometres from the zero point, just north of the Mōkihinui Bridge. They are as follows: Route Position (RP) 2.46km, 5.2km, 5.4km, 9.05km, 11.0km, 19.2km (the latter being the Glasseye Creek Bridge corner and approaches).

The budget to undertake the widening work is $1,205,000 excluding GST and is funded by Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency as part of the Low-Cost Low Risk 2021-2024 program via the 2021-24 National Land Transport Fund. 

The Karamea Highway’s Special Purpose Road (SPR) status was reconfirmed in October 2023 and will now continue for another three years, covering the 2024/2027 National Land Transport Plan period.

This entitles the Karamea Highway to 100% funding assistance from Waka Kotahi – NZTA for all maintenance, upkeep and improvements, at no cost to Buller District ratepayers. 

This work is in addition to the ‘Return to Service’ projects currently underway, focused on repairing the 2021 and 2022 severe weather event damage along the Karamea Bluff.


For further information please contact:
Eric de Boer
Manager Infrastructure Delivery