A two lane roundabout will be built at the intersection of Te Puna and Minden Road next summer, boosting safety on State Highway 2 (SH2) north of Tauranga.
The NZ Transport Agency has approved $7M in funding to cover the cost of property purchase and construction of the roundabout.
Subject to approvals and property purchase, the tender process will begin later this year and construction will start over summer 2015/16.
The project will take approximately six months to complete.
The Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty highways manager, Niclas Johansson says the roundabout is a key part of the Transport Agency’s SH2 Safe System Northern Corridor project, which is focused on exploring ways to improve safety on the highway between Bethlehem and Waihi.
The project aims to reduce the number of head-on and intersection crashes on the stretch of highway by creating a more forgiving road environment.
Mr Johansson says traffic volumes are expected to increase with the predicted residential and commercial growth in the area and this will lead to more traffic using the SH2 Minden Road/Te Puna Road intersection.
“This new roundabout will improve safety for SH2 motorists and the wider Te Puna community who currently use this intersection.”
Along with the new roundabout, more than $5M worth of safety improvements including guard rails and wide centre line treatments are set to be installed along the route over the next two months.
The project will also look at realigning sections of road to improve sight distance, addressing speed limits so they suit the road environment and ways to improve safety at intersections.
Mr Johansson says the Transport Agency will be working closely with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, iwi, land owners and other key stakeholders over the coming months as the consenting and designation process for the roundabout gets underway.
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson says the construction of the roundabout is a significant step forward in improving driver safety at this busy intersection.
“The roundabout will bring benefits to the local Te Puna community by making it easier and safer to navigate the area and will also assist travellers and tourists. With traffic counts building on State Highway 2 from Te Puna to Omokoroa this improvement is very appropriate and timely.”
Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Infrastructure Services Group Manager, Gary Allis says the construction project provides a one-off opportunity to construct a new, purpose-built community hall in Te Puna.
An advisory group has started the planning process for the new hall to be located near the existing structure which is in the path of the new roundabout project.
“The current hall is a much loved and significant community asset that was built by voluntary labour and has stood for nearly 100 years,” Mr Allis says.
“An advisory group will continue to work with the hall committee and Council to ensure that the new building retains its historic roots and serves the growing community well for the next 100 years.
One of the main focus areas is to ensure as little disruption as possible from the rebuilding project,” he says.
Find out more about the SH2 Safe Systems Northern Corridor Project here(external link)
For more information please contact:
Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
NZ Transport Agency
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928413