Wellington Scoop

Crash barrier creates dangerous corner on Makara Road

crash barrier 1

Report from Jim Mikoz
There is a serious Health and Safety risk to the general public and recreational fishers who bring their boats along the Makara Road. This risk has been caused by WCC roading engineers who made the road at least one meter narrower when they constructed a crash barrier on a corner last year.

I have traveled along this road for over forty years towing my boat, and till now have never had any trouble at the corner.

Last year the City Engineer contracted an alteration to this corner that has resulted in making the road at least one meter narrower. This has caused at least one serious accident resulting in the new crash barrier being seriously damaged. This damage has resulted in a serious health and safety risk as the WCC has failed to make the crash barrier safe again after the accident that occurred many months ago.

crash barrier 3 signage

The warning sign advising of the road being narrow, and arrows advising who has right away, is admitting the WCC has made a serious roading mistake at this corner. No one can see through rocks at this corner to see if someone is coming. Then once in the corner there is no room to turn the corner towing a boat or horse float.

I spoke to Sue Hawkins, the owner of the land at the corner, and she reports that since the crash barrier was installed last year there have been at least five vehicle crashes.

The cost of repairing a vehicle that has had side panel and door damage would be massive if parts could be obtained and these days the vehicle could easily be written off. Or if a boat or horse float was damaged that also would cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Scrapes along paint work with the vehicle still mobile could easily cost over $10,000 to repair and with at least five crashes at the corner since the barrier was installed the vehicle repair bill would total $20,000 for each accident – now times five and the total would be $100,000 and that does not include the vehicle that went head into the end of the crash barrier which was probably written off.

crash barrier 2

This cost to our insurance industry would not have been necessary if the WCC roading engineers had not got carried away installing a crash barrier that had not been needed for over forty years in the past. Then to justify their mistake they erected road narrow signs which had not been necessary for over forty years.

This corner is the only one on the Makara Road with a crash barrier and road narrow signage with arrows. This corner is an engineering disaster that should have never gone past the drawing stage.

The crash barrier would not have been required if the WCC roading engineers had accepted the offer made by the land owners at this corner Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins who offered one meter of their land to make the corner safe.

crash barrier 4 damage

However for whatever reason the WCC engineers and senior management chose not to accept the offer and instead created a serious risk by building the crash barrier that has seriously reduced the road width, and then failed to repair the damage to the barrier in a reasonable period of time.

Jim Mikoz is President of the Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers Association


  1. Dave B, 25. February 2021, 14:44

    Has the road width really been reduced? From the photo, the new crash barrier appears to be on the verge between the tarseal and the original fence. The seal and the white edge-line don’t appear to have been changed at all. If this is correct, then the only vehicles put at risk by the new crash barrier are those which would have been encroaching over the edge-line and running on to the verge previously. In other words, vehicles that are not properly within the lane. This suggests that such vehicles would be either too large for the road, or being driven too fast to properly negotiate the corner.
    If this blind, narrow corner is taken suitably slowly and always in anticipation that something might be coming the other way, is there really a problem?

  2. greenwelly, 25. February 2021, 17:04

    Use the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act to ask for all reports on that particular device complying with
    AS/NZS 3845- Road safety barrier systems and devices.
    There are minimum set back requirements from the “shy line” so it would be interesting to hear whether the council can show this meets the standards.