Work begins to make busy Ōhakea intersection safer for road users


Traffic management is now in place at the entrance of RNZAF Base Ohakea as the site is readied for construction of two temporary roads and a temporary roundabout.

Once built, the temporary roads will reroute state highway traffic while a new permanent roundabout and shared path are built at the intersection of Pukenui Road and SH1/3 outside Base Ohakea, between Bulls and Sanson.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge says the construction of the temporary route will help keep traffic flowing while the new permanent roundabout is built, and keep workers safe.

“Driving on the temporary roads and the temporary roundabout should look and feel very similar to driving on a normal state highway, except there will be a lower speed limit in place for safety.”

While the temporary roads and temporary roundabout are being constructed, road users will notice new signage in the area, and a temporary speed restriction of 30 km/h when the work is underway; and 50 km/h when the site is unattended.

“The temporary speed limits will apply between the southern end of Bulls Bridge and Wilson Road to the south.

“Contractors will be on site between 7am - 5.30pm Monday – Friday and some Saturdays. When the construction site is unattended (generally this is overnight and on weekends), the speed limit will be 50km/h – making from the Bulls Bridge – Wilson Rd 50km/h straight through.”

Work to build the two temporary roads and temporary roundabout will begin on 6 June, just after King’s Birthday. It’s expected the roads will be able to be built with two lanes still operating and without the need for stop/go traffic management.

Traffic is expected to be moved onto the temporary route in late July in order to allow for the construction of the new permanent roundabout and shared user path.

The full project including construction of the temporary route, new permanent roundabout and shared user path is expected to take 15 months. It is being delivered as part of a package of safety improvements for SH1/3 between Bulls and Sanson.

SH1/SH3 Bulls to Sanson safety improvements

Between 2011 and 2020, there were 83 crashes on this 6.4 km stretch of road, resulting in 14 people being seriously injured and 23 receiving minor injuries.

“This stretch of road is a vital link to the central and lower North Island with around 15,000 vehicles using it every day on average.”

SH1/3 is known by both numbers as SH1 and SH3 share their route between Bulls and Sanson.