$520M funding injection for SH2

A $520 million roading package that will transform State Highway 2 (SH2) between Tauranga and Waihi. 

“This is a significant transport investment for Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty area," says Transportation Minister Simon Bridges.

State Highway 2 through Te Puna.

The package includes:

  •   •  The $286 million Tauranga Northern Link (TNL).

  •   •  $85 million worth of safety improvements designed to reduce death and serious injury crashes.

  •   •  Up to $150 million to provide for future traffic growth, paving the way for an upgrade between Omokoroa and Te Puna.

"It will improve safety, reduce congestion and support growth on what is a very busy route, making a noticeable difference for motorists and easing freight movement.

“It’s yet another example of the Government’s focus on increasing economic growth and improving safety through transport investment.

“We know that transport is an enabler of economic activity so we need to continue unlocking key congestion points to get people and freight moving efficiently around the country.”

The TNL is a new 6.8 km highway which will connect Tauranga’s Takitimu Drive Toll Road with SH2 Te Puna.

“The TNL is a long awaited project in the Tauranga community. Last week I attended a public meeting to hear the views of local people and it’s clear there’s a lot of support for getting this project underway," says the Tauranga MP.

“Once complete it will reduce traffic through the busy townships of Bethlehem and Te Puna, provide a better commute into the city, and support the Western Bay’s many industries.

“Today I’m also announcing that $150 million has been earmarked for a future extension of the TNL. A business case for extending the TNL from Te Puna to Omokoroa is expected to be completed toward the middle of next decade.

“All up this means the TNL will provide a four lane highway linking Tauranga’s Takitimu Drive Toll Road with SH2 at Omokoroa."

The safety improvement work will be targeted at high-risk areas on SH2 between Waihi and Te Puna.

It will include median and side barriers, and intersection improvements designed to reduce head-on and intersection crashes, which are over represented in this area.

“This is a major transport package that will support population growth in areas such as Omokoroa and Te Puna, allowing for any future upgrades to improve capacity as they are needed.

“This latest investment follows a $12 million package of safety works that have been rolled out on SH2 as the Government finalised a long term plan for the route.

“Work on the safety improvements and TNL starts now, with construction set for 2016 and 2018 respectively."

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller welcomes the announcement on roading as “a break through investment that will set alight the growth of Western Bay. It’s a terrific boost for an already buoyant economy”. 

“My family have lived in Te Puna for 40 years and in this time we have lived the growing pains and sat in stationary queues as many others have. I for one just can’t wait for the building to begin,” says Todd.

“A northern bypass has been talked about for years, but under National and under Simon Bridges, Tauranga’s MP and Transport Minister, we now have a commitment to build and a sizeable budget to match.

“The half a billion dollar investment is significant and it will lift not only the economic performance of the Western Bay but also the safety of this critical road corridor into the city.

“Roading has been the number one issue brought to me by our community so it is fantastic we are addressing it to this extent,” says Todd.

“Last week at our public meeting on roading this view was reinforced by very passionate locals that something needed to be done about the infrastructure in the Western Bay. The population is growing very quickly and the supporting infrastructure needs to keep up.

“This investment in roading will not only serve the community and commuters but it will also support the industries that are based in and around our region.

“The future upgrade between Te Puna and Omokoroa will be especially significant as it is a known problem area for congestion and safety concerns."

Work on the safety improvements will get underway in 2017 while work on the TNL will begin following property purchase, consenting and design.



Posted on 22-05-2016 09:23 | By Bay Citizen

You seem to miss the main point of my post. SH2 is the primary route from Auckland to Tauranga. Therefore, your snide comments about the importance of Waihi and Katikati etc are irrelevant. However, I would also remind you that there is a lot of industry and horticulture going on west of Tauranga, plus the significant logging that needs access to the Port from the whole of the Coromandel. When you add in the tourism, it is clear that this route needs an upgrade.

Where are the big accidents?

Posted on 16-05-2016 16:21 | By Crash test dummies

Not on SH2 they are on SH29, so typical NZTA spend the money elsewhere?

@ Bay Citizen

Posted on 11-05-2016 11:10 | By Crash test dummies

SH2 is certainly the back road, once you get past say Omokoroa what is there? a few minor towns of no importance and even if you massively stretched the mind that there was something useful in Waihi besides it being a hole in the ground ... the road through the Karangahape Gorge is never going to be able to be widened, expanded and so on to something useful. Therefore the obvious and vastly better route out of the Bay is SH29 to SH27 or SH1, take your pick of the obvious here, this is a huge waste of $500 million just like the TEL, its all nice and pretty but it is simple a 23km road to nowhere, Paengaroa.


Posted on 11-05-2016 10:38 | By Bay Citizen

SH2 is not a "dead end road" the further north you go. It is the main road from TGA to Auckland. For inexplicable reasons, NZTA seems to be de-prioritising it in favour of SH1/29, but SH2 has the advantage of being more direct and avoiding the crazy gradients over the Kaimais. Far better to upgrade SH2 and/or form Thompson’s Track over the mountains for a longer term solution.

Waste of money

Posted on 10-05-2016 11:24 | By Crash test dummies

Other than adding a lane from Te Puna in the rest of it is a waste of money. SH2 is a dead end road the further you go north. This money would be a lot better spent on four laning SH29 to SH1. SH29-SH1 leads to Hamilton/Waikato/Auckland and is a route that can be widened to accommodate increased traffic flows and especially trucks as the PoT continues to expand.

Wire rope barriers

Posted on 10-05-2016 11:21 | By Crash test dummies

It is abundantly obvious that these present a major hazard to motorcyclists, like slice/dice at sufficient speed. the other barrier types currently used such as the steel rail are somewhat better, a concrete barrier is less likely to be an issue for any mode of transport. I just can not figure why the wire rope option is being used.


Posted on 26-04-2016 08:42 | By mutley

That is because the cable barrier and the W beam or Armco barriers are equally lethal to motorcyclists. The wiki article you quote goes on to say "Both were significantly more hazardous than concrete barrier". So perhaps "iknow" -you don’t really know.

Is it just me?

Posted on 25-04-2016 14:10 | By Here's a thought

Wouldn’t it of been a better idea to Coordinate planned major roading project in the area. I agree that the junctions at Minden/Te Puna Rd need improving but if the planned bypass removes a large amount of the traffic from the area then maybe there would be no need to spend $5m on a roundabout. Bypass first & then see what traffic volumes are like afterwards. Unless of course the new road is going to be a toll road, in which case fewer cars will use it.


Posted on 23-04-2016 11:26 | By astex

From Wiki: "a study of motorcyclist injury rates for several types of highway barrier did not find an appreciable difference in fatal and severe injuries between cable barrier and W-beam barrier".

Great news!

Posted on 23-04-2016 07:28 | By Bay Citizen

Great news, but just a few concerns: 1) If the TNL links up to the toll road, will the TNL itself be a toll road, and thus limiting the numbers who would use it? 2) Still no bypass for Katikati then 3) Hopefully with the safety improvements they can put the speed limit from Whakamarama to Bethlehem back up to 100. The reduced speed limit was stupid and unnecessary from the beginning. 4) "Safety improvements" seems to be code for lots of expensive roadworks that achieve nothing, leaving really dangerous elements remaining, such as pinch points at bridges and dodgy intersections for side roads and private driveways.

Cheese graters

Posted on 22-04-2016 22:31 | By MichaelAngelo

Wonderful news but please do not use wire "cheese grater’ barriers which are a hazard particularly to motorbike riders and also consider that too many barriers means that traffic can not be diverted in an emergency or if there is an accident.

I hope

Posted on 22-04-2016 21:42 | By dave4u

there are some noise barriers for houses that have the road brought closer to them!

Dates Please

Posted on 22-04-2016 21:36 | By Merlin

Expected completion dates for the TNL are??

Great, but...

Posted on 22-04-2016 21:35 | By penguin

...I get a strong smell of an election in the offing. Muller’s comments praising Bridges are nothing short of election rhetoric. How about SH29 which cuts a swathe through a large urban area and most of the route at 100km/hr? Not enough serious crashes I suppose. Oh, I forgot

dont turn blue

Posted on 22-04-2016 20:35 | By Hunterway

Holding your breath.Lived in Tepuna for years.Live in town now .10 minutes to everywhere .Took 8 weeks to knock off a corner and then paint the line back where the side of the road was in the first place. Took 5 weeks to put in a culvert.Tail ends as far as Omokoroa were common .Median strips and roadside barriers don’t move more traffic and make it impossible to avoid tail end collisions.Intersection treatments mean they will paint some lines on the road and reduce the speed.They took out the passing lanes instead of increasing them.Improving traffic flows from the city without improving flow on the rest of the road to Waihi and beyond is the cart before the horse . where is the tunnel to the waikato and four lanes?Oh!it goes past Tepuke.

What about harbour bridge -> asb stadium

Posted on 22-04-2016 20:12 | By jed

Harbour bridge/hewletts road/ Maunganui road through to bayfair is a shocker. We need to construct a 0 traffic light dual carriage way road all the way through. Sooner than later as cost will only get more. Traffic around mt maunganui has intensified quite a bit in the last 5 yrs or so.

Another TOLL road

Posted on 22-04-2016 20:00 | By The Caveman

in the making - from Takitimu Drive to Te Puna - watch this space.

Gr,eat news

Posted on 22-04-2016 19:43 | By Nancyone

At last this reading project is being funded. Congratulations to our two local M.Ps.,

The road

Posted on 22-04-2016 19:41 | By surfsup

That’s great news for those motorists caught up in this mayhem. Perhaps Simon could wave his magic wand and get the turret road chaos sorted, the underpass is simply going to get traffic through to this bottleneck quicker. Why is it so hard for those in power to sort out quickly that which is so obvious for those of us stuck in these various chaotic and frustrating traffic problems.

Best possible news

Posted on 22-04-2016 18:26 | By mutley

This is just what we needed to hear out West. Before we know it the new roads will be all finished and boy will we be enjoying them. Thank you Simon Bridges.

Great news!

Posted on 22-04-2016 17:08 | By Mackka

Let’s hope they get cracking on it immediately as it has been in the pipeline for decades!

me thought

Posted on 22-04-2016 17:01 | By old trucker

The govt,. bought all that by pass up years ago for this,The (CONS)ULTANTS will be rubbing their grubby little hands togeather,so this means,it wont get underway till 2019,by the time they buy this buy that it will blow out to a billion bucks,this all comes out to make mr B look good, but he promised a 100 milliom for Turret rd,you would think all the consents would all be done and include land purchase,before it was released,all the consultants with their nose in the trough making it spin out,gosh they will all be able to buy new FLURO vests and new clipboards for this project,with new utes etc,anyway enough of this im going to have a tipple with wahine on me log,Thankyou Sunlive the bestest in the Bay,sent from me stone I PAD..

Property Purchase?

Posted on 22-04-2016 16:53 | By Murray.Guy

I understood much of the property required for the Tauranga Northern Link was already in NZTA ownership. A long overdue project. Obviously there will be economic benefits but they pale in to insignificance compared to the lives saved, injuries reduced and frustrations abated!

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