A 10-day trial will be carried out for people using SH29A travelling to the city from Te Maunga/Baypark via the Maungatapu roundabout, from next Thursday.
As part of the Maungatapu underpass project, the New Zealand Transport Agency, alongside Tauranga City Council, are trialling the closure of the straight through option on the Maungatapu roundabout to see if it will improve traffic flow on SH29A.
The redirection will be in place on weekdays from 6am to 10am.
Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy says during the morning peak, city-bound traffic using the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts to access Turret Road are causing queues in both directions on the state highway.
“Our traffic analysis suggests that changing the route for city-bound traffic in the morning peak coming from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark should result in a more efficient journey for all. However, before we make any permanent decisions we need to trial this,” he says.
People travelling to the city from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark will turn left at Maungatapu roundabout, left at Hairini roundabout onto Welcome Bay Road, then down and through the Maungatapu underpass.
City-bound traffic from Maungatapu Road will need to do the same. Traffic from SH29A Te Maunga/Baypark wanting to access Maungatapu Road will have to use the Taipari Street off-ramp (after the Maungatapu bridge).
“We will be monitoring the travel times and traffic counts during the 10-day trial to determine the suitability of these routes as future options,” Mr McCarthy says.
“With any changes to the network it often takes time for drivers to understand that a new route may be a more efficient option. A good example of this is Ohauiti traffic travelling home through the underpass and turning right up to Ohauiti Road.”
People travelling on SH29A from Tauriko will still be able to access Turret Road from the Maungatapu roundabout.
A new dedicated city-bound bus lane from Hairini Street onto the Hairini causeway became operational last week.
The Maungatapu underpass opened to traffic on 22 June 2018.