A slow-vehicle bay has recently been completed on a section
of highway between Alexandra and Roxburgh where there have
been several ''close calls'' as road users tried to overtake
slow vehicles up the hill.
''I'm not aware of any crashes there, but it's a site that
was waiting for a crash,'' New Zealand Transport Agency
Central Otago manager John Jarvis said this week. The
slow-vehicle bay up the hill near Gorge Creek should improve
safety, especially with traffic volumes increasing over the
holiday period, he said. ''Visibility wasn't that good and
there was a bit of confusion for people. There have been
close calls there - I've seen some myself - as trucks and
slow-moving traffic pulled over and vehicles got right over
the centre line to overtake, but there wasn't enough safe
Work to widen the road for the passing bay was tied in with
resealing that section of State Highway 8. The total project
cost for widening and resealing work was about $100,000.
''There's not very many passing opportunities between
Roxburgh and Alexandra and this gives traffic a chance to
pass safely. There was always a pinch point coming up that
hill as heavy traffic and towing traffic slowed down and
vehicles tried to overtake.
''Now, all slower vehicles, trucks and towing vehicles will
be able to ease into that bay to allow the other traffic to
go past in a safe manner. We've made a considerable effort to
get it completed before the holiday traffic starts,
especially as there'll be lots of vehicles heading to Central
Otago towing boats and caravans,'' Mr Jarvis said.