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Safe hit posts to be installed on SH1 Ohakea

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Safe hit posts will be installed on State Highway 1 at the Ohakea Airforce Base intersection and along the straight towards Bulls Bridge to prevent the use of the median flush as a passing lane and improve safety.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency permanently closed the southbound passing lane on State Highway 1 between Bulls and Sanson last year after it was identified as high risk, particularly at the intersection with Pukenui Road where Ohakea Airforce Base is accessed.

The removal of the passing lane was intended to remove the risk of right-turning traffic queued for the Airforce Base from extending into the passing lane and discourage high speeds at the end of the passing lane.

Regional Transport Systems Manager Ross I’Anson says it is disappointing that drivers have instead been using the median flush in front of the Airforce Base as a passing lane.

“This driver behaviour increases the risk of crashes between vehicles using the median and vehicles either waiting to turn into the Airforce Base or onto the highway.

“We know that some road users may feel inconvenienced by the removal of the passing lane, but our priority is the safety of everyone using the road which is why we are taking steps to prevent this risky driver behaviour.”

The installation of the safe hit posts will be completed overnight on Monday 22 June, between 8pm and 9am the following morning (weather dependent). The median will be closed during this time with a 30km/h speed restriction in place.

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