Tauranga City Council has agreed to proceed with construction of the stage one works on 15th Ave.
The project is seen as an important step in improving the traffic flows at the Fraser Street/15th Ave intersection, says a statement from the council.
Work is expected to start in September and an early 2020 completion is anticipated.
Transportation manager Martin Parkes says he is pleased to see the work go ahead.
“The aim of the project is to get more people moving easily and safely through and across this key arterial corridor.
“It’s important to emphasise that this work should see a slight improvement in journey time reliability in the afternoon peak. Users should experience more consistent travel times through the area and traffic volumes on 13th and 14th Ave will be lower in the evenings.
“Additionally, we anticipate a reduction of tailback on Cameron Road.”
Martin says stage one is not the long-term solution.
“It’s the first of a number of stages intended to deliver long-term improvements to this key arterial transport corridor.”
Stage one includes widening the road with two continuous southbound lanes from Fraser Street, merging to one lane after Burrows Street, installing traffic lights at the Burrows Street intersection to manage the traffic inflow and maintain a safe crossing point, controlling traffic from local residential streets, and improving connections for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
15th Avenue will stay open during the works, but delays are possible. Residents and businesses in the area may also face some disruption.
Tauranga City Council will be working to minimise any issues and offers thanks in advance to impacted community members for their understanding and patience while the work progresses.
“To minimise disruption to the surrounding network we encourage users to continue using 15th Avenue during construction,” says Martin.
Currently, NZTA funding for construction of stage one works has not been provided under the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme.
To bridge the gap, the Tauranga City Council has agreed to finance this project through a rates-funded loan, so work can go ahead.
Subsequent stages of the project will ensure alignment with the over-arching strategy of the Urban Form and Transport Initiative.
This initiative, which is similar to Get Wellington Moving, will develop a strategic way forward for the sub-region, with immediate and future priorities and investment opportunities in urban form, transport and other related areas.
These later stages of the project are scheduled to commence after the NZTA’s Baylink project is completed.