Upgrading works are steadily advancing along Cameron Road, despite challenges posed by unseasonably wet weather, with significant progress made since work began in September 2021, reports Tauranga City Council.
Hitting key project milestones is really important and despite the challenges associated with Covid-19 and the terrible weather through spring and summer, we have made great progress, says Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley.
"One of our key priorities for this work is to reduce the need for people to use single occupancy vehicles and make it easier and safer to travel by bus, walking or cycling.
"The Cameron Road upgrades will play a key role in connecting the community with our city centre, supporting its revitalisation and making it a great place for people to live, work, learn, play and visit."
Tauranga City Council transport director Brendan Bisley says it's exciting to see so much progress on construction, meaning we are on track for completion of the upgrades by the end of 2023.
"The wastewater upgrade is now 98 per cent complete. Three kilometres of wastewater pipe has been upgraded, replacing old, undersized pipes, some of which were more than 100 years old," says Brendan.
Water main installation on the western side of Cameron Road near 14th Ave.
Across the whole construction site, more than 8100m2 of asphalt has been laid for footpaths and cycleways and 5300m of concrete for new kerbing.
The street upgrade between Hamilton Street and Elizabeth Street is now complete, as are the new signalised pedestrian crossings near Spring Street and outside Tauranga Boys' College.
Now that most of the streetscape and stormwater work on the eastern side of Cameron Road is complete, the next phases of work will focus on the intersections at Thirteenth Avenue, Fifteenth Avenue, and Elizabeth Street.
Mana whenua representative Buddy Mikaere says seeing the cultural aspects and placemaking brought together through the design processes has been an important part of this project.
"The upgrade of Cameron Road is the first step towards realising a shared vision of better-connected communities that support our people, our economy and the environment in our fast-growing region," Buddy says.
"It is just fantastic for us to see these essential projects moving forward now and we are looking forward to these upgrades being completed."
The bus lanes and the two-way cycleway are taking shape and new bus shelters are being installed.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council public transport director Mike Seabourne says an effective public transport system plays an important role in the growth of the city.
"The Cameron Road project will make it easier for buses to move around and for commuters heading to work. As public transport becomes safer, cheaper and more efficient, congestion eases for all users and carbon emissions are reduced to improve air quality and public health."
Streetscaping works, including block pavers and garden beds, at the Ninth Avenue intersection.
"Cameron Road is a key public transport route providing access to economic, educational, and social opportunities for our community, including those unable to access other forms of travel," says Mike.
"Regional Council continues to work on improvements to public transport services and infrastructure in collaboration with our partners."
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency system design regional manager Jess Andrew says for urban areas to thrive, people need to be able to move around easily and have a range of choices about how they get to work, connect with family and friends, and access services.
"We need to build a modern transport system with a mix of reliable transport options that help keep people and products moving safely.
"Building our future - Cameron Road is a significant part of delivering the Connected Centres programme (Urban Form and Transport Initiative), which will ensure existing and future communities have greater and safer travel choices to get people where they need to go."
Planning is now underway for Building our future - Cameron Road, Te Papa Stage 2.
Council will be engaging with the community about plans for the area of Cameron Road between 17th Ave and Cheyne Road, Pyes Pā, to make it safer and easier to move around. Cultural and wayfinding considerations will extend to Te Ranga, Pyes Pā.
Proposed options for improvements will be open for community feedback until Sunday, April 2.
To learn more, head to the project webpage – www.tauranga.govt.n/cameronroad.