Countdown to Maungatapu underpass opening

More than 5100 people took the opportunity to walk or cycle through the underpass at a recent community day.

The Maungatapu underpass project will reach a major milestone when the underpass opens to traffic this month.

Its official open date is Friday June 22.

The 120m-long underpass is a two-lane link underneath the Maungatapu roundabout. A temporary 50km/h speed restriction will be in place through the underpass, and the new traffic lights will be operating at the Welcome Bay Road and Welcome Bay Link Road intersection.

A temporary stop sign will be installed at Hairini Street. Drivers will be encouraged to use the access from the Maungatapu roundabout.

The separate shared cycleway through the underpass will not open until the Hairini Street connection is complete.

The access to Hammond Street from SH29A will be closed and access will be from the new Welcome Bay Road intersection.

The traffic switch through the underpass will enable work on the connecting local roads to be completed.

Finishing works are continuing on Welcome Bay Road, Welcome Bay Lane, Hammond Street, Turret Road, Hairini Street and the Maungatapu roundabout, with speed restrictions, shoulder closures and night works.

NZ Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy is urging road users to take care when travelling through the underpass.

“We are nearing project completion, however the area remains a construction site. As such, I urge people to take care and stay focussed when travelling through the area, for their safety, and the safety of their passengers and all other road users and construction workers."

The Maungatapu underpass project will improve people’s journeys around the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts, separate state highway and local traffic, and make travel safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

More than 5100 people took the opportunity to walk or cycle through the underpass at a recent community day.

Read more about the project here:


@ By Chris - You have lost the plot !!

Posted on 21-06-2018 23:33 | By The Caveman

YOU clearly don’t understand what has been posted on this subject. WHY should traffic coming from Turret Road (ex Gate Pa, Greerton, etc) that wants to go to the Southern end of the Mount/Papamoa, via SH29A need to go through a roundabout with traffic lights - that as you say is for local traffic - when it could with a little bit of "real planning" have "flowed" non-stop through an underpass.

Yeah, you said it

Posted on 21-06-2018 16:46 | By philiphallen

Its so bloody obvious that what you said that the Mount traffic should pass under the roundabout you would think that it would make sense...…. not so with this council and NZTA.

Wrong thebrads6

Posted on 21-06-2018 14:08 | By Chris

thebrads6, you clearly don’t understand the purpose of scope of this project. The idea with this underpass was to separate state highway and local traffic, which it will do very well. Mount traffic gets an almost-unimpeded drive, only having to go through the roundabout which will be dramatically less congested once local traffic (Welcome Bay) gets off the same intersection. Nothing about this project was ever going to ease 15th ave traffic which is caused by other bottlenecks that council refuses to address.

Poor Planning

Posted on 21-06-2018 12:55 | By Chapsmate

The opening of this project will exacerbate the backlog of traffic reaching Turret Road. Talk to anyone ~ consumers, school children ~ anyone but the over paid roading planners, and they will tell you the road should have begun on 15th avenue, then Turret Road, then the bridge ! and finally this underpass. As shortsighted has pointed out, it would have also made sense to have a tunnel branching left to Mount Maunganui. It is obvious that commonsense does not apply to road designers.

@ thebrads6 - my thoughts as well!

Posted on 21-06-2018 12:42 | By The Caveman

In fact its seems that the "authorities" don’t learn from the past. TWO lane underpass !! Should have been FOUR as you say with the left lane heading to Mount Maunganui and the right to Welcome Bay - no long term thinking. At least, with one lane each way they cannot put in a 24/7 bus lane each way and waste 50% of the road surface, as has been done in other areas of the city.

So Shortsighted

Posted on 21-06-2018 10:01 | By thebrads6

The above picture of this project screams out "how incredibly shortsighted the people were who designed this" Why was the tunnel curving to the right (Welcome Bay) not branched off to the left (Mount Maunganui) also? All the gear and the workers were there & the roundabout was dug up anyway surely it would have made sense to also have an uninterrupted flow of traffic heading to the Mount! You just never know, this may have reduced the backlog of rush hour traffic leaving the city along 15th Ave!

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