One of Rotorua’s busiest intersections will be safer and easier to use from next week, with the new traffic lights at the State Highway 30/Tarawera Road intersection due to be turned on in the second week of the school holidays.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton says people can expect the intersection to look very different.
“This is a critical milestone for the project, and the upgrade will make the intersection safer, easier to use and more efficient at peak travel times,” says Ms Wilton.
“The aim is to have the new intersection in place early in the week and during the school holidays when traffic flows are more consistent throughout the day.”
Overnight there will be a staged process with the temporary roundabout removed, temporary line marking installed, before the traffic lights are turned on. Work has been scheduled to take place overnight to reduce impact on traffic.
“It’s important people take extra care when travelling through the intersection as they adjust to the new layout,” says Ms Wilton.
The temporary roundabout is currently scheduled to be removed overnight on Monday 19 July, with the lights expected to be operational from 6am on Tuesday 20 July. This may be delayed in the event of unsuitable weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
“There are a few things that need to align for the lights to become operational. The weather needs to allow for the new line marking to be applied at the same time the lights will be switched on. If it is too wet or too cold, the switch will be postponed to the next possible day.”
While the traffic lights will be operational, the community is being advised to expect the intersection to be an active worksite for the next few weeks as final works are completed.
“Contractors will continue working at the intersection for about three weeks as they construct the concrete islands separating traffic travelling in opposite directions,” says Ms Wilton.
There will be occasional lane closures, additional signage, and a 30km/h temporary speed limit in place.
Waka Kotahi asks motorists to be patient as we complete these final steps.
Some delays are anticipated as people adjust to the new layout. The intersection will be monitored carefully and adjustments made to the traffic light phasing, as required.
While the intersection will be functional from the second week of the school holidays, the final layer of surfacing will be applied in September when temperatures are warmer to ensure a strong bond between the two layers of surfacing.
The signalising of Tarawera intersection is part of the $17 million Eastern Corridor Stage One project, improving SH30/Te Ngae Road from Sala Street to Iles Road. The project started in February 2020, with completion expected in late 2021.
For more information visit:
Eastern Corridor – Stage One