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15th Avenue corridor improvements

We want to make 15th Avenue safer and easier for people who live, work and go to school in the Avenues and for people who commute along Turret Road and 15th Avenue each day.

The challenge of 15th Avenue

  • more people move across 15th Avenue each day than along 15th Avenue
  • thousands of people travel every day to schools, jobs, medical centres, social services and shopping centres between 11th Avenue and 18th Avenue
  • the biggest disruption to travel times for people who are moving along 15th Avenue comes from the side roads and intersections.

Proposed way forward

To make better use of the travel space, our plans include:

  • widen 15th Avenue
  • create a new lane for buses, car pooling and people who are riding motorbikes and scooters
  • build a shared pathway that links from the Maungatapu underpass so more people can bike safely between the outer suburbs and the city.

Most trips in Tauranga are made by people in cars with no other passengers. As bus trips get more reliable and biking options get safer, it will make a big difference to the number of vehicles on the roads.

Short term plans (2018) – Stage 1

Aim: is to help traffic flow better in the afternoons by managing interruptions that come from the side roads.

What does it involve?

  • one new traffic lane – between Fraser Street and Grace Road, to give the 15th Avenue/Fraser Street intersection a better chance to clear in the afternoons
  • traffic lights at the Burrows Street/15th Avenue intersection – to manage interruptions from the side roads
  • Turret Road slip lane closed – to give people driving on the main road a clear run onto the causeway.

Timing: We can do this work without too much disruption because it doesn’t require lots of underground services to be shifted. 

Concept plan - 15th Avenue stage 1 (1.2mb pdf)

Longer term plans (after 2020) – Stage 2

Aim: To get more people moving easily through and across the available travel space. We’re planning to do this by widening 15th Avenue in a way that makes it easier for more people to travel by bus, biking, walking and car pooling.

What does it involve? 

  • car pooling and bus lanes – to help make bus trips more reliable between Welcome Bay and the city
  • separated shared bike paths  – to offer a safe bike journey into the city
  • traffic lights in the surrounding Avenues – to limit the number of vehicles that arrive at 15th Avenue at any one time.

Timing: This will be a lengthy and disruptive piece of work. When we widen the road we’ll also need to shift a lot of underground services. We need to time this work carefully so that it doesn’t clash with the Baylink project. Having two major construction projects underway at the same time along two major transport routes will create much more disruption than people are seeing now.

Concept plan - 15th Avenue Stage 2 Fraser to Turret (1mb pdf)
Concept plan - 15th Avenue Stage 2 Cameron to Fraser (970kb pdf)
Concept plan - 15th Avenue Stage 2 surrounding intersections (2mb pdf)

What about Turret Road and the Turret Road bridge?

We’ve been investigating the bridge structure to see what sort of extra loading it can take. Whether we upgrade the existing bridge or build a new bridge, the cost will be significant, possibly in the region of $50 million. It is the most expensive project for the least amount of gain. We’re looking at all the options, but in the meantime everyone will see more immediate benefits from the 15th Avenue improvements. 

Next steps

  • Consultation closed on Sunday 1 July 2018, followed by a review of the issues raised through the feedback process and updates to concept plans/design plans where necessary. 
  • A summary of the consultation process and feedback will be presented at the next Transport Committee meeting.
  • Council will continue to work with affected parties throughout the design and construction of Stage 1.
  • Council will continue to engage with affected parties as Stage 2 concepts are refined.
  • Construction of Stage 1 is expected to commence in October 2018 and be completed in early 2019.

Last Reviewed: 02/07/2018

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