The NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that it plans to build a new grade-separated crossing for pedestrians and cyclists across Maunganui Road between Spur Avenue and Concord Avenue in Tauranga.
Transport Agency Chief Advisor System Design Kevin Reid says while the Agency’s immediate focus is on completing the design of the new signalised Bayfair roundabout with safe pedestrian crossing facilities, work will also progress on the solution for a grade-separated crossing near Concord Avenue.
“We are working with Tauranga City Council to identify, evaluate, design and construct the crossing. This process will determine which form the new grade-separated crossing will take.
“While an underpass hasn’t been ruled out at this new location, the new crossing is much more likely to be an overbridge. We will engage with the community throughout this process and hope to present a preferred option to stakeholders and the community in early 2020,” says Mr Reid.
A separate business case is not required for this investment, and the $13m already approved for the project will be used to design and construct the crossing.
“We still have to acquire consents and work through the land footprint at the new location, and the timeline of this process is out of our hands. Once this is confirmed we hope to deliver the new crossing within the same time frame as the Bay Link project.
“We recognise that this new grade-separated crossing will have a different function to that of the old underpass, as it will connect to the Tauranga City Cycle Plan cycle networks on either side of the state highway. This will serve a broader purpose across the wider network, while those making shorter, local trips are more likely to use the new signalised pedestrian crossing at Bayfair roundabout.”
The closure of the existing Bayfair underpass follows the Agency’s decision that a new pedestrian and cycle underpass would not be constructed as part of the Bay Link project.
The current underpass needs to be removed to allow for ground improvement works for the approach ramps to the flyover to be built. This will involve building a large concrete ramp for the Bayfair flyover to built on top of it, and ground improvements works will include stone columns to strengthen the ground to take the weight of the flyover.
When the Bay Link project is complete, the new Bayfair roundabout will provide safe, at-grade signalised crossings for pedestrians and cyclists through the roundabout, in addition to the grade-separated crossing to be built across Maunganui Road between Spur Avenue and Concord Avenue.
“We are now developing the final design of the signalised roundabout and we are currently working with Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council to look at options for pedestrian, cycle and bus prioritisation through the Bayfair roundabout.”
When the existing Bayfair underpass closes there will be a temporary signalised pedestrian crossing installed in proximity to the existing underpass on Maunganui Road to provide safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
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