Ngā pātai – frequently asked questions
Will the road be tolled?
Every time a new state highway is built in New Zealand Waka Kotahi carries out an assessment to see if it meets the criteria to be tolled and the Takitimu North Link is no different.
How will the Cambridge Road overbridge be built?
The location of the new bridge is in the area of earthworks next to the current Harrison Road, alongside Cambridge Road. The bridge will be constructed using a top-down construction method, this means the bridge is built on the current ground alignment and then we excavate underneath for the new road. Preparation work for the Cambridge Road overbridge is underway and a reduced speed limit of 30km/h in place while construction takes place. The bridge will be constructed west of Cambridge Road which will keep traffic impacts to a minimum in this area.
What will the Fifteenth Ave connection be like?
This is a one-lane bridge, with entry at Fifteenth Ave onto SH29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road. The bridge will be constructed offline and will have minimal effects on the current traffic in this area, construction is due to start 2024.
What is the Smiths Farm construction access road (off SH29) for?
The Smiths Farm access road is for construction vehicles only. It will be used by our construction vehicles to lessen the impact of our trucks using the local roads. This access road is currently under construction.
What happens at the Loop Road (Te Puna) end of the project?
This end of the road is still in the design phase and more details will be shared when this is complete.
Stage Two of the project extends the road 7km on ward from Te Puna to Ōmokoroa, we are in the process of protecting this route. This will give Council, landowners and the community certainty of the route and ensure Waka Kotahi is best placed to move forward when funding for construction becomes available.
Will there be road noise when the road is complete?
As with any road, yes there will be noise, however the new road is constructed using a road surface of OGPA (Open Graded Porous Asphalt). This design is better at absorbing tyre noise and is used on the majority of newly created highways. This means noise will be reduced compared to standard roads. In addition to this, large parts of the road will be visually screened by planting and will help to reduce the perception of noise pollution.
How can we get on and off the new road?
There will be two entry/exit points on the new road, at the SH29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road interchange, and at the Te Rangituanehu/Minden Road interchange. The Takitimu North Link will provide an alternative route to SH2, moving trucks away from local roads.
How can people walking, cycling or other modes get on and off the new shared path?
There will be an entry/exit point from the new Takitimu North Link shared path onto all of the local roads that it passes.
Will it be four-lanes?
Yes, Stage One between Tauranga to Te Puna will have four-lanes and will have a shared path for walking and cycling. Decisions are yet to be made about whether there will be managed lanes (eg for public transport, freight and high-occupancy vehicles), and what this could look like, (eg what time of day, length of lane etc). Prioritising the use of lanes by different modes at different times of the day optimises network flows and can help to keep congestion levels down.
What will the speed limit be?
The road will be designed to 110km/h speed limit however the setting of the speed limit will be determined by the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 closer to completion.
How many vehicles are expected to use it?
The existing SH2 Waihī to Tauranga is a busy highway with a poor safety record and the pressures of this have been felt for some time.
From what was once a rural road passing through a few country settlements this section of state highway has developed into a busy commuter and freight route as well as an important tourist link for the northern Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula.
Western Bay of Plenty communities are projected to grow by 16,000 people in the next 20 years, and traffic crossing the Wairoa Bridge increasing from 20,000 to more than 30,000 daily by 2031.
The rate of growth combined with existing safety, access and congestion issues means Takitimu North Link is a huge investment in the region’s growth.
Who is paying for Takitimu North Link?
The Takitimu North Link project is part of the Government’s $8.7 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme investment in better travel choices that help people get where they’re going safely. $655 million has been provided for the planning and construction of Takitimu North Link Stage One, and route protection for Stage Two which includes statutory requirements such as resource consents.
What happens to the existing SH2 Tauranga to Ōmokoroa?
When the Takitimu North Link project is complete, the existing SH2 will become an important local road managed by Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council with reduced traffic volumes and heavy freight using the alternative Takitimu North Link route. The process of removing the existing SH2’s state highway classification to a local road is known as 'revocation'.
Waka Kotahi must ensure that the revoked road’s transport function is fit for purpose at the time of handover. Fit for purpose means the revoked state highway section will provide a similar level of service to other roads with the same function in the local network and the road is safe despite its change in function.
Waka Kotahi will work through the revocation process with Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
As part of this process, we will seek feedback on options for improving safety, access and walking and cycling connections once it becomes a local road. We expect to go out for public consultation on this in 2023.