Traffic gridlock warning if project moved forward

Turret road bridge works will wait till Bayfair to Baypark congestion is reduced. Photo: Supplied.

Tauranga City Councillors have been warned the city could face mass gridlock if they go ahead with the $6.8 million four laning of 15th Ave before the Baypark to Bayfair link is completed.

The council proposes widening 15th Ave from Grace Road to Burrows St over the next financial year.

But, at a council meeting last week, councillors were told the city could face network disruptions if they bring forward the project.

“We really haven’t discussed that with NZTA, but our view is you risk having major disruption in your network and we know we’re not very resilient,” says the council general manager growth and infrastructure services, Christine Jones.

“If there is an accident somewhere on our network there is relative gridlock. If you have two major construction locations and then there was some sort of event - we saw that when we had the dolphins.”

The pod of dolphins in the tidal pool upstream of the bridge on My 11 brought the city to a standstill in the afternoon as sightseers stopped to have a look.

Callers to SunLive described taking an hour to get from Cameron Road to Fraser Street via Courtney Road, only to find Fraser Street also gridlocked. Traffic along 15th Ave to Welcome Bay was slower than walking pace.

“That‘s an example of what will happen,” says Christine. “You have got to B2B going through significant construction and people are diverting. We know diversion is happening for people to avoid construction at B2B. Then you have something to the effect of dolphins, and that is potentially what you will have.

“We are saying there is significant risk and our advice is to not take on that risk, but to have all the preparation work done. You could be ready to go as soon as the programing on B2B is at a level where it’s not going to cause disruption and that is our recommendation.”

The work is in the Long Term Plan, 2021 year, and she says the council has the option of bringing it forward.

“The recommendation passed earlier in this agenda provides that opportunity to move and push projects,” says Christine.

The 2021 four laning project includes a city bound bus lane and carpool lane.

In long term plan deliberations councillors agreed to bring the planning forward. The council will also approach NZTA about timing.


4 Comments

Jizzy

Posted on 14-06-2018 14:11 | By Jiz

Gridlock!!! you say, I have been in touch with Tauranga Council on a number of times regarding the traffic gridlock. They are not interested and will do what they want. Never listen to any suggestions that have been made. Buses empty, why not introduce smaller buses for the non peak times around Tauranga.

If no Gridlock, what will happen soon after nZTA finish?

Posted on 11-06-2018 12:23 | By tabatha

It would have been great if the Bayfair Bay Park road works and Turret Road/Bridge were all done at the same time and I am sure the gridlock would not be there when opened. Bandaid work is only temporary.

Get on with it

Posted on 11-06-2018 10:41 | By Taffy

At the rate TCC and NZTA do things just start now ,you will have so many consulations,bloody resource consent,iwi, ete ete it will take until 2021 before you dig the first sod.We already have gridlock every day,just wait until the Welcome Bay underpass opens trying to get past the bridge in the morning.TCC just do some observation over the next few weeks say Mon 25th JUN--Fri6th July and then 9th Jul--20th Jul (school Hols) Traffic volume drops significantly so get free buses for school kids now .

Four Lanes

Posted on 11-06-2018 10:02 | By The Caveman

from Grace Road to Burrows St is a total waste of time. Just moving the bottleneck 500 meters !! And if as implied one lane each way will become a BUS lane, then an even bigger waste of time - just moving almost empty buses 500 meters down the road to the bottleneck 30 seconds faster. Just like Hewletts Road at the Mount - 33% of the road (1 lane of three) given over to EMPTY buses.

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