Council commits funding to underpass investigation

The current Bayfair underpass. File image/SunLive.

Investigations are underway into retaining a pedestrian and cycle underpass at Bayfair.

Tauranga City Council is working with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency on the investigations to retain an underpass linking Matapihi and Bayfair beneath SH2.

The council recognises the importance to the community of a grade-separated pedestrian and cycle link between Bayfair and Matapihi and has approved a contribution of $2 million towards the investigations, Mayor Tenby Powell says.

The council had previously agreed to contribute $1 million towards an underpass – sourced from Cycle Plan capital funding – but that was put on hold when the NZTA cancelled the underpass project, due to an escalation in the estimated construction cost.

Originally the NTZA was going to cancel the underpass after cost of replacing the underpass blew out from $13 million to $33 million as part of the Bayfair to Baypark link project.

“Following an engagement process with council, key stakeholders and the wider community, the transport agency is revisiting the underpass and investigating alternative options,” Tenby says.

“Council wants to do all it can to support that work and decided at an in-confidence meeting in December last year that it would be appropriate to increase the planned contribution, to demonstrate the community’s commitment to the project.”

NZTA portfolio manager Darryl Coalter acknowledges the time it has taken to do the feasibility work.

“This process has identified issues requiring more time to work through relating to the ground conditions surrounding the underpass and the complex design work for extending the spans of the bridge overhead.

“We are committed to doing what we can to make this option achievable and expect to have an update in early March,”

Council is confident in the process being followed and looks forward to receiving an update on the investigation work in early-March, Tenby says.

Once a decision on the underpass has been confirmed, the relevant council report and resolutions will be moved into the public arena.

The first phase of the new temporary crossing went live this morning, as well as the new larger Bayfair roundabout.

Currently pedestrians and cyclists are using a combination of traffic lights and the existing underpass, which remains open.

Temporary traffic lights are in operation on the city-bound lanes north of the Bayfair roundabout on SH2.

The temporary signalised crossing enables pedestrians and cyclists to cross between Bayfair Shopping Centre and Matapihi Road while construction continues in the centre of the road.

Phase 2 of the crossing, the temporary closure of the underpass, is on-hold pending the decision on the overall design.

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The investigation has already been done

Posted on 15-02-2020 09:08 | By Concerned1

NZTA had an underpass designed and ready to build before they canned it. So all the soil, foundation, water table issues had already been investigated and resolved -- so what does the extra $1 million dollars go to. At $300/hr for an engineer, that is 3300 hours of investigation. Why is NZTA dragging out this decision for so long? The common sense and safe answer is an underpass. Commit and build it. Use the existing as the model -- it has had no problems being there.

$2 Million !!!

Posted on 14-02-2020 21:46 | By The Caveman

Sounds like the "contract" has already been handed out to the "private consultants" with an OPEN cheque book on the part of the Council. Simple fact is EXTEND the current underpass for the full width of the road - $2 million should do it !!!!

Tenby's solution, charge ratepayers

Posted on 14-02-2020 15:30 | By I B Stornche

It seems that Tenby’s solution to this underpass fiasco is for ratepayers to pick up the tab. Show some strength and make Government pay the lot like they should.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 14-02-2020 09:58 | By Tom Ranger

I wish I knew where to start my ctitisism of the TCC roading plans.... Traffic issues caused by TCC planners every bloody where. I swear they are doing it on purpose to try and force us to either wait in traffic or Bus/Bike. How about a decent roading plan! Geebuz


Posted on 13-02-2020 08:15 | By hapukafin

Two million dollars for a investigation.Its NZTA job.This another case of NZTA being out of their depth when it comes to roading in Tauranga.In the years Ive lived in Tauranga NZTA has gone against what the people wants in our roading plans.We only need to look at the number of work that has been reworked a number of times and finally being changed to what the people has suggested.


Posted on 12-02-2020 21:15 | By groutby

....everything it is involved with is fraught with problems..compliance...cost over-runs....delays because name it...and when it’s done, it falls over, or has structural defects...or...cripes you name it!’s seriously embarrasing, and NO-ONE is responsible!...the list is getting endless...

Why do ratepayers have to pay?

Posted on 12-02-2020 19:54 | By T Farcombe

Ratepayers paid for the existing underpass and Government wants to take it away. Why should ratepayers pay $2 million for an investigation, not even an underpass. I was at that meeting before the election Mayor Powell. You mean you haven’t got Government to pay up the lot like they should?

here we go again

Posted on 12-02-2020 19:11 | By old trucker

Gosh TCC,are going to spend $2-3 million on a INVESTIGATION for what,it is already there,WHO is this money going too,THIS IS STUPID,SURELY something is wrong here,Tenby reckonend he did not KNOW that lights were installed at Bayfair, now that he is in he DOES NOT CARE.wait TILL SOMEONE IS knocked DOWN there,all the BIG TRUCKS that have to cross over and just get up and running and HAVE TO STOP again,how STUPID,i see ALL THE BOOTLICKERS there today watching signals,and going OH AR,there will be a meeting about it tomorrow,THIS MONEY COULD HAVE DONE THE BURETA INTERSECTION ,done the hill bit but left the big holes at cross roads,they have only KIDS doing this inspection,driving around looking at things,trying not to upset and spend its ,(OURS)MONEY BUT ALL THAT for this underpass,my gosh.Thanks Sunlive one shillings worth.10-4 out.phew.


Posted on 12-02-2020 18:25 | By Yadick

What budget? It’s not an underpass, it’s a money hole.

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