Trials at SH29a Maungatapu roundabout

A 10-day trial will be carried out for people using SH29A travelling to the city from Te Maunga/Baypark via the Maungatapu roundabout, from next Thursday.

As part of the Maungatapu underpass project, the New Zealand Transport Agency, alongside Tauranga City Council, are trialling the closure of the straight through option on the Maungatapu roundabout to see if it will improve traffic flow on SH29A.

The redirection will be in place on weekdays from 6am to 10am.

Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy says during the morning peak, city-bound traffic using the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts to access Turret Road are causing queues in both directions on the state highway.

“Our traffic analysis suggests that changing the route for city-bound traffic in the morning peak coming from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark should result in a more efficient journey for all. However, before we make any permanent decisions we need to trial this,” he says.

People travelling to the city from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark will turn left at Maungatapu roundabout, left at Hairini roundabout onto Welcome Bay Road, then down and through the Maungatapu underpass.

City-bound traffic from Maungatapu Road will need to do the same. Traffic from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark wanting to access Maungatapu Road will have to use the Taipari Street off-ramp (after the Maungatapu bridge).

“We will be monitoring the travel times and traffic counts during the 10-day trial to determine the suitability of these routes as future options,” Mr McCarthy says.

“With any changes to the network it often takes time for drivers to understand that a new route may be a more efficient option. A good example of this is Ohauiti traffic travelling home through the underpass and turning right up to Ohauiti Road.”

People travelling on SH29A from Tauriko will still be able to access Turret Road from the Maungatapu roundabout.

A new dedicated city-bound bus lane from Hairini Street onto the Hairini causeway became operational last week.

The Maungatapu underpass opened to traffic on 22 June 2018.


Another thing...

Posted on 17-07-2018 20:02 | By Captain Hottie

On Welcome Bay Road where the road veers to the left to go thru the tunnel, on the straight up to go onto SH29, there are suddenly a bunch of poles sticking out from the road. Three poles, a small gap (for cyclists I guess) then another few poles, then a gap for cars to go through. It’s extremely unsafe if you are following a large truck, or someone is riding your bumper, to have to suddenly veer to the left to go straight through. Obviously something to do with the cycle lane, but come on, due to the fact there are pretty much NO cyclists around, it’s a hazard to the majority of road users, who are motorists.

@First Responder

Posted on 17-07-2018 19:51 | By Captain Hottie

Totally agree. It’s a catch-22 at the moment as SH29 traffic from Poike to Welcome Bay backs up very quickly as only a few cars can get through. So ppl sneak up Poike Road and along Ohauiti Road instead. However by doing that, only a few cars can get right through the roundabout to go down Welcome Bay Road and the rest are stuck at the roundabout - meaning even FEWER cars from SH29 can get through. So more cars use Ohauiti etc.

All because of a bus lane

Posted on 17-07-2018 11:30 | By WestieMum

Ditch that idea until there are enough buses running to warrant it. And a bus lane of that short duration is really going to make a difference when travelling on a bus. Not. OK, so lets stuff up hundreds of other road users for a handful of buses! The underpass works well, and as it should, and isn’t the problem. Forcing Ohauiti folk down to the Maungatapu roundabout is the issue. Change the intersection at Ohauiti so they can turn right onto WBay Road and come down to the underpass. That will remove that volume of traffic off the main highway. Yes it will take a redesign of the intersection (minimal) and some thinking of the phasing of traffic lights, but seems the best option to me. But then, I’m not a roading engineer.....


Posted on 14-07-2018 23:32 | By The Caveman

to the whole bottleneck is FOUR LANES ON TURRET ROAD - but the so called traffic planners/engineers DON’T have clue when it come to practical traffic solutions!!

The BOTTOM LINE is --------------

Posted on 14-07-2018 23:26 | By The Caveman

For the MILLIONS that was spent for the underpass it should have been FOUR LANES - two each way, right from the start. But its the usual story, "what do we need today" (and that was 10 years ago), Think about the future - "what’s that"??? By the time that 10 year old road project gets built, it TOO SMALL for "today" without looking 25 years out !!

Real problem

Posted on 14-07-2018 16:56 | By JohnMac

The problem has to be where all the traffic eventually merges to cross the bridge onto Turret Rd and until an extra access to the CBD across the harbour or a wider bridge and extra lanes up to Cameron Rd are in place nothing is going to make a lot of difference. Traffic from 4 directions coming together into 1 lane is not going to change without infrastructure upgrade greater than a tunnel that really does not reduce traffic or relieve the congestion at the bridge to any real degree.


Posted on 14-07-2018 13:45 | By Happyday

No amount of making traffic pirouette round the local roads is going to take the strain off the bottle neck; its just going to make the traffic travel further. Without fixing the Hairini bridge, and four laning Turret Road and 15th Avenue, nothing is going to change, we will still have the same number of vehicles arriving at the same place at the same time. What do the muppets not understand?

Thats an extreme amount of traffic

Posted on 14-07-2018 11:24 | By Angel74

that will be coming out of the tunnel, not to mention the build up of traffic just trying to get to the tunnel, wouldnt opening up Hairini street exit be the easier option, the circus has well and truly arrived in Tauranga!!!!

Trip advisor

Posted on 14-07-2018 11:04 | By Gigilo

I feel sorry for the people that travel from Papamoa and beyond to the city and beyond, 10 to 15 minutes daily has just been added to their journey. If this route was the intention why was two extra lanes not added to the underpass? Would have been quite simple at the time. Seems the intention is that in an attempt to alleviate city traffic the plan is to make it harder to access!

Cuckoo Land

Posted on 14-07-2018 10:26 | By Taffy

Where do these people dream up these ideas? If the truth be known they would have difficulty organizing a booze up in a brewery. They left the Hairina Street until the underpass opened now they want to put the majority of traffic down the Welcome Bay underpass. We have 5 MP,s in Tauranga very conspicuous by their silence for once work together and get the roading sorted out.

Ohauiti Rd

Posted on 14-07-2018 09:48 | By First Responder

Change the Ohauiti Rad intersection, so cars can turn right into Welcome Bay Road. Traffic can then turn right to go to the city, and bypass the multiple lights to get to Welcome Bay. Currently only about 8 cars can get through on a light. Absolute bottle neck


Posted on 14-07-2018 09:27 | By dumbkof2

whose scatterbrained mush for brains idea is this. all this is going to do is cause bottlenecks on welcome bay rd as it did before. traffic fron te maunga will see the back up go to the hairini roundabout turn right and go back to the on ramp and turn left. and why are they doing this during school holidays when there is little traffic anyway


Posted on 14-07-2018 09:02 | By overit

At last WB motorists have some relief, now some goose just wants to dump a design problem on us. We have a queue going into town too, now it will be worse.

Widen the bridge.

Posted on 14-07-2018 08:02 | By tabatha

The circus has arrived in Tauranga. When are they going to use modern day computer modelling to see problems ahead of time instead of running to the first aid kit and use a bandaid to solve what seems to me an obvious solution, 4 lanes the distance.

The theory is just plain nutty............

Posted on 14-07-2018 07:41 | By groutby, Welcome Bay traffic has finally had at least some respite to the traffic woes with the underpass doing exactly what it was designed to do, separating that traffic flow into the city ...and now, the Baypark traffic (Papamoa/TePuke etc) looks as though it will join the underpass also. The result?..surely exactly the same as Welcome Bay traffic had before the underpass!!..Always trying to screw around with the issue rather than look to a solution: the completion of the Baypark roadworks and the four laning of Turret Road.

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