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Bethlehem Township Improvements On Track

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Proposed traffic improvements through Bethlehem Township are now in the final stages of design and are expected to be available for public viewing in early November.

Proposed traffic improvements through Bethlehem Township are now in the final stages of design and are expected to be available for public viewing in early November.

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager Rod James says several design changes have been made to the Bethlehem Township Improvements Project in response to feedback received during public consultation.

“The revised design aims to provide a balanced approach to help improve peak time traffic flows, enhance the overall urban design in the township and improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians through this busy area,” he says.

Mr James says traffic flows and safety will be improved by upgrading the 300 metre stretch of State Highway 2 between the Moffat Road roundabout and the planned West Bethlehem roundabout. The project will provide safer car parking and access to shops. 

The amended design also includes an additional controlled crossing mid-way between the two roundabouts, which was incorporated into the design in direct response to public feedback.

“Once the Bethlehem Township Improvements Project is completed, commuters will enjoy a safer and less congested trip through Bethlehem Township, while shop owners and their customers will experience an improved urban environment with greater connectivity between shopping on both sides of the road.”

Mr James says traffic modeling has shown the planned changes will reduce long tailbacks experienced by commuters at peak times as they pass through the pinch point at Bethlehem.

“The planned improvements will also improve safety for pedestrians and people parking in the village, making accessing the shops a lot easier.”

NZTA plans to hold public information days in early November to show the revised Bethlehem Township Improvements Project plans. The public will also be given an opportunity at these information days to provide feedback on a range of urban design concepts that NZTA is developing in partnership with the Tauranga City Council.

Rod James says the Bethlehem Township Improvements Project is just one piece of an integrated transport plan developed as part of the SmartGrowth Northern Corridor Strategy, which includes the progressing of the Tauranga Northern Arterial (TNA) and safety improvements between Route J and Bethlehem.

“With this in mind, an important factor we had to consider in planning is that this section of SH2 through Bethlehem will ultimately revert to being a local urban road once the TNA is built.”

The contract for the next $3 million phase of work to progress the TNA will be awarded within the next month. This is an essential step in delivering the TNA and will include extensive site investigations to confirm the planned route and design.

“An important part of the site investigations will involve geo-technical investigations, which will provide critical information needed to develop the detailed design. We expect to have ground testing rigs on site early in the New Year.”

Those wanting to receive Project Updates can email BTIsubscribe@nzta.govt.nz

For more information please contact: 

Julie Hannam
Regional Communications Advisor
NZ Transport Agency
DDI 64 7 958 7238
M 027 294 2649
julie.hannam@nzta.govt.nz

www.nzta.govt.nz

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