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NZTA considers public's views on Rotorua Eastern Arterial

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) received approximately 200 responses following its recent open day on the future of State Highway 30/ Te Ngae Road in Rotorua East.

Rod James, the NZTA's Bay of Plenty State Highway Manager, says most of the submissions acknowledge the problems with the current highway and agree that improvements are needed.

Traffic modelling predicts that within seven years, vehicle numbers on Te Ngae Road will increase from the current 37,500 vehicles per day to 50,000 and have a negative effect on safety and congestion.

The public has been asked to comment on three options under investigation to improve safety and trip efficiency: upgrading the existing highway (Te Ngae Road); developing a new highway along the designated route closer to Lake Rotorua with two new intersections at Sala Street and the proposed Victoria Street Arterial; or using most of the designated route but upgrading Vaughan Road at the western end instead of continuing the highway over the sulphur flats.

“The open day was one part of our consultation. It was a good opportunity to hear the views of a variety of people on the proposed options.

“Consultation is an important part of investigating potential roading improvements. We have listened, and will continue to listen to issues raised by the community and road users about each option,” says Mr James.

Issues raised by submitters include:

  • existing community severance caused by high levels of heavy traffic along Te Ngae Road
  • the existing challenging environment on local roads for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers
  • possible changes to lake, lakeside and residential accesses
  • potential environmental and ecological impacts of a new road
  • potential impact on the existing location of recreational facilities, some homes and commercial buildings.

“The role of consultation is to highlight issues like these, work out how each issue might be mitigated, and then select the route which best meets the community’s needs and the NZTA’s objectives,” says Mr James.

In the next phase of the project, the NZTA will continue to hold meetings with interested people and carry out technical testing and concept designs to determine in more detail potential layouts and costs for each option.

“The outcome of this investigation is to identify a recommended route. We expect to be able to make that selection in mid- 2011,” says Mr James.

More information is available online or by calling the project team on 0508 REA PROJECT.

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