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NZTA Board recommends tolling for Tauranga Eastern Link

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The NZ Transport Agency Board has recommended that tolling be progressed as a funding option for the Tauranga Eastern Link project.

The NZ Transport Agency Board has recommended that tolling be progressed as a funding option for the Tauranga Eastern Link project.

The Board’s recommendation means that a formal proposal to bring forward the start of construction on the $455 million project by tolling one section of the road can now be submitted to the Minister of Transport. After discussions with Cabinet, the Minister will then decide whether to recommend to the Governor General that an Order in Council (OIC) be established to toll the road.

The Tauranga Eastern Link will be a four-lane motorway from Te Maunga to Paengaroa – without travelling through Te Puke. It comprises two sections – an upgrade of the existing State Highway 2 between Te Maunga and Domain Road at Papamoa and a new motorway from Domain Road to Paengaroa. Only the completely new section of the road is proposed to be tolled.

NZTA Board Chair Brian Roche said over 80 percent of more than 3,500 submissions received during public consultation earlier this year supported advancing the project through tolling. Tolling the road would allow construction to start in 2010 with completion by 2016 – five to ten years earlier than without tolling.

Mr Roche said the Tauranga Eastern Link would bring significant benefits to the region.

“As a road of national significance it is a key piece of infrastructure that will improve connections between the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga and its port. It will allow people and freight to move more efficiently through the region, reducing transport costs and improving economic productivity.”

Mr Roche said the project would also make travel safer in the region. “The new road will be four lanes with a median barrier which will reduce the number of serious and fatal crashes. It is also expected to remove much of the heavy traffic from the main streets of Te Puke and Waitangi, and significantly improve safety on this section of State Highway 2.”

Mr Roche said the NZTA had worked closely with Environment BOP, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council to progress the project.

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T 64 4 894 6285
M 0212 763 222
andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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