You call that a state highway

December 5, 2008

Visitors from overseas are often bemused that most of what we call State Highway 1 wouldn’t rate as a major road in other developed countries.

I was reminded of this on the way down to Dunedint his morning. It’s a trip of about 120 kilometres which normally takes 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the traffic.

Today I left with an extra 20 minutes to spare and needed most of them because the traffic was heavy and there were three sets of road works which reduced the road to one lane.

I was behind about a dozen vehicles at the last stop and the front one was a very large, very slow truck. There were few opportunities to pass in the next 12 kilometres so only the first couple of cars behind the truck managed to get past. The rest of us had to trundle along in an unwilling convoy behind the truck at 50 to 80 kilometres an hour until we got to a passing lane.

It’s not good enough for the nation’s main thoroughfare, or as Jim Hopkins put it:

Wow! Santa is a lucky guy
He gets to whiz round in the sky!
He doesn’t need to lug his loads
Along this country’s hopeless roads
No campervans cause him delay
While we crawl down some motorway.
So, Santa, Santa, hear our voice
And pass it on the Stephen Joyce
(Our Minister of Transport new)
Who maybe will take heed of you
And start the job that must be done
To rebuild damned State Highway 1

Slow March South For Trooper

June 18, 2008

The 2.74m high statue of Trooper David Mickle Jack  which has stood on top of the Boer War memorial at the intersection of State Highway1 and Thames Street in Oamaru for 104 years was removed yesterday.

The 960 tonne monument will be resited about 40 metres south as part or a realignment of the corner which is an accident black-spot.

The long, slow crawl through Oamaru is unpopular with travellers but retailers have resisted any attempts to move the highway away from the town’s main street. The repositioning of the statue and the associated work won’t speed up the journey but it might make it a bit safer.


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