Pukenui Road roundabout construction ahead of schedule, detour lifted early


Road users travelling on State Highway 1/3 past RNZAF Base Ohakea can expect to be using the new roundabout around the clock from this week.

Construction on the brand-new roundabout on SH1/3 is ahead of schedule, and the necessary nightworks needed for the tie-in phase of the roundabout’s construction have been completed earlier than expected.

Over the past four weeks, crews have been working overnight to align the new roundabout to the existing state highway network. Stormwater drainage, new kerbs, median island and streetlight installation works have also taken place. While daytime traffic has been using the roundabout since February, the section of SH1/3 outside Base Ohakea has been closed at night with all traffic detoured. This allowed crews to carry out a range of works at the same time without live traffic near the worksite, allowing the works to be completed as safely and efficiently as possible.

Crews have now completed the necessary work that was needed under a night closure. From today, the roundabout will be open 24/7 and the night-time closure and detour will no longer be in place.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery, Rob Partridge says crews are currently ahead of schedule as the roundabout nears completion, but there’s still plenty of work to be done on the shared user path ahead of overall project completion date of August this year.

“We’ve had positive feedback from the local community, and we’ve appreciated the support over the past few months.

“We’re asking motorists to continue planning their journey for a while longer, expect more temporary traffic management and to drive carefully through our worksite.”

The roundabout is temporarily operating as a single lane with a 30km/h temporary speed limit in place for the safety of crews and motorists amid ongoing construction. The temporary single-lane layout will remain in place while crews carryout daytime works on the range of safety improvements underway, including the shared user path. It will eventually be line marked to have two lanes in both directions as planned, including turning lanes in and out of Pukenui Road that leads to Base Ohakea.

Upcoming traffic management

Crews are now moving back to daytime works and will continue construction on the range of other safety improvements such as building the shared user path that’s on the western side of the state highway between Tangimoana Road and Pukenui Road. These works will be carried out under a shoulder closure, with temporary traffic management in place.

Roadside safety barrier will be installed between the path and the northbound lane, and a short section of flexible median barrier (about 700m) is being installed north of the new roundabout to the intersection of Wightman Road. The number of pedestrians and cyclists travelling on the side of the state highway is expected to increase following the construction of the path. These barriers will help protect people using the path, and help prevent head-on crashes on this section of road. We’ve increased the amount of lighting in the area and are also planning to upgrade the intersection of the state highway and Wightman Road by creating a designated right-hand turning bay for traffic. 

The range of safety improvements being made on the Bulls to Sanson corridor will make this stretch of road safer for everyone who uses it.

SH1/SH3 Bulls to Sanson

Next month, our crews plan to carry out 2-3 nights of final asphalting works and Stop/Go traffic management is likely. We will advise road users of any upcoming traffic management closer to the time.

Ohakea CVSC project

Next door to the new roundabout, construction on the Ohakea Commercial Vehicle Safety Centre (CVSC) project is also well underway. This new building, on Pukenui Road, will eventually replace the former NZ Police weigh station on SH1/3. Much of the construction for this project occurs off the state highway. The installation of the in-road scales, automatic licence plate recognition cameras and digital signage boards will take place on SH1/3 throughout 2024, and traffic management will be in place for these works.

Ohakea Commercial Vehicle Safety Centre (CVSC)

Aerial shot of a road intersection with construction vehicles by a roundabout.

Construction progress at the roundabout as of last week.