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Bypass to be added and faster capacity improvements to be explored for Waihi to Tauranga route

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The NZ Transport Agency has completed an assessment of the Katikati town centre and has concluded that a bypass will be added to the State Highway 2 Waihi to Tauranga programme.

The Transport Agency will also investigate if capacity improvements planned for between Omokoroa and Te Puna should be brought forward.

Since the $520 million Waihi to Tauranga programme was announced by Transport Minister Simon Bridges in April 2016, further investigations have been undertaken to develop detailed solutions along the corridor, including for Katikati.

The Transport Agency’s Central North Island Regional Relationships Director, Parekawhia McLean, says the new information has shown the number of vehicles using the road is growing much faster than expected.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen strong growth in traffic volumes, with the number of vehicles on the road in 2016 increasing by over 6 percent near Katikati and over 12 percent between Omokoroa and Tauranga.

“While further work will be required to determine the best route for a bypass and the timing for design and construction, it’s clear that removing the state highway from the town centre will keep people safe, continue to improve reliability for locals and tourists and improve access to Katikati.

“As well as the safety work planned for between Omokoroa and Te Puna, we will also look to bring forward other improvements to support economic growth and development.”

Ms McLean says the Transport Agency expects to be in a position to provide the community with more information on the timing, possible form and indicative cost of the bypass later this year.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done and we’ll keep the community fully informed as we progress,” Ms McLean says.

Public open days on the State Highway 2 Waihi to Tauranga programme will be held later this month.

The Government’s long term goal for the State Highway 2 corridor between Waihi and Tauranga is to reduce death and serious injury, support economic growth, and improve journey predictability.

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