A stretch of SH1/3 set to close overnight as new roundabout nears completion


Construction of the brand-new Pukenui Road roundabout outside RNZAF Base Ohakea is in the final stages, and will be open to road users next week.

The roundabout is being constructed at the intersection of State Highway 1/3 (SH1/3) and Pukenui Road between Bulls and Sanson.

In the coming weeks, crews will carry out the necessary work to align the new roundabout to the existing state highway network. To do this as safely and efficiently as possible, some night-time road closures are required.

Between 6-8 weeks of night-time closures will begin from Sunday 18 February, with a sign-posted detour in place. The section of SH1/3 outside Base Ohakea will be closed at night between 7.30pm and 6am Sunday nights – Friday mornings. Outside of these hours, the road will be open for all motorists each day, and on Friday and Saturday nights.

During day-time hours, the new roundabout will be open and all motorists will be travelling on the new road alignment. The temporary roads that skirt around the construction site will no longer be in use from Monday 19 February.

During the night-time closure, a detour will be in place for traffic with lower speed limits in place at some intersections for safety.

The detour for light vehicles

  • Southbound: The detour is via Tangimoana Road, Taylor Road and onto SH1.
  • Northbound: The detour is via Fagan Road, Speedy Road, Tangimoana Road and back onto SH1/3.

The detour for freight/heavy vehicles

  • Southbound: The detour is Tangimoana Road, Campion Road, and onto SH1.
  • Northbound: The detour is via Fagan Road, Speedy Road, Tangimoana Road and back onto SH1/3.

During the night-time closures, access will remain for residents who live within the area.

Road users can expect some delays and should factor an extra 5-10 minutes into their journey time.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see crews constructing the new shared user path on the western side of SH1/3 between Tangimoana Road and Pukenui Road. Please take care driving through our worksites and follow signage, speed limits and any instructions from traffic management on site.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge says the safety improvements project aims to future proof the road, reduce crashes and prevent deaths and serious injuries.

“Currently, an average of 15,000 vehicles drive this stretch of road every day and it’s a vital link to the central and lower North Island. The new roundabout and the shared user path, together with the construction of the new Ohakea commercial vehicle safety centre (formerly weigh station), will make this busy stretch of road safer for everyone who uses it.

“Work on the roundabout kicked off mid last year and we’re very grateful for the support we have received from Base Ohakea staff, local communities and people using the road. We know our projects underway on this corridor are causing some disruption for motorists and we’re looking forward to the roundabout being open and in daily use.”

See the design of the roundabout and more information about the project on our project webpage(external link)