26 April 2016

The Bay of Plenty Regional Transport Committee (RTC) has welcomed the announcement by the Government’s to inject $520 million into State Highway 2’s northern corridor, saying the funding is critical to improving safety and meeting the long term capacity needs of the Tauranga to Waihi corridor.  

Bay of Plenty Regional deputy chair Jane Nees says the region has long prioritised the State Highway 2 safety improvements and the Tauranga Northern Link in the Bay of Plenty Regional Land Transport Plan.

“The Tauranga Northern Link bypass from Takitimu Drive to Te Puna will help to address our concerns around congestion and safety issues currently experienced between Bethlehem and Te Puna, which are only increasing with the growing use of this section of highway.”

She is pleased that the initial work will focus on improving safety of drivers along this corridor, which has a renown crash history.

“The investment of $85 million to improving safety of drivers travelling between Tauranga and Waihi is also pleasing, installing median and side barriers and making necessary improvements to intersections will help to reduce the risk of head-on crashes resulting in death and serious injury of drivers.”

Councillor Nees, says future demand needs of this corridor have also been addressed by the Government, who have earmarked $150 million for the future upgrades of the Tauranga Northern Link to support future growth and capacity needs in areas such as Te Puna and Omokoroa.

“It is pleasing that the Government has reached the same conclusion, that we need to plan for future growth along this corridor and is allocating funding to extend the capacity of the Tauranga Northern Link in these areas.”