Updated plans to improve the safety of State Highway 2 between Waihi and Tauranga have been announced, with some projects going ahead immediately and others on the back burner.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has re-evaluated the transport plans for the corridor to align with priorities set out in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.
It has confirmed the need for a new state highway on the current alignment of the Tauranga Northern Link, with new plans including a two-lane route – one lane in each direction – between Te Puna and Tauranga alongside the existing road.
There is an option for additional lanes on SH2, which may include a range of uses, including enabling public transport to cater for growth to the west of the city.
The construction timing and form of this route will depend on growth and funding priorities across the rest of the country.
NZTA’s Brett Gliddon says the first priority is making people’s journeys safer with improvements to the existing road, such as flexible median and side barriers, wide centre lines and protecting people from hazards on the roadsides.
"The first section of the $101 million Waihi to Omokoroa safety improvements package is already under way.
“Between Omokoroa and Te Puna, we will start with safety improvements, including an upgrade of the Omokoroa intersection.”
The Katitaki bypass is not included in the new work, however NZTA says it will work with the community to improve traffic management.
“We will continue to hold the land designations which protect the route between Omokoroa and Te Puna, the Katikati bypass and the Tauranga Northern Link. This means we will still have the ability to construct in these designations when the timing is right,” says Brett.
A speed limit review of SH2 between Katikati and Bethlehem is also under way.