A much-needed cycle connection between Wairoa Bridge and Bethlehem will go ahead to complete the missing link in the Ōmokoroa to Tauranga cycleway.
The last 800m of cycleway will reduce the immediate safety risk to cyclists who currently share this narrow section of road along State Highway 2 (SH2) with vehicles travelling at high speed, and without protection.
Tauranga City Council Director of Transport, Brendan Bisley, says the present situation is concerning and it is important to begin construction as soon as possible.
“We’ve been working in partnership with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and other key partners to develop a temporary solution between Wairoa Bridge and Carmichael Road. The cycleway will improve safety for all road users along this section of SH2 until a permanent solution can be developed.”
Pedestrian improvements will also need to be resolved as part of a longer-term solution in three to four years’ time.
The connection will form part of the 19km Ōmokoroa to Tauranga cycleway, with the path extending under the bridge and up the other side of SH2.
At the top of the hill a new signalised crossing will be installed across SH2 to Carmichael Road, connecting through to the network of cycle paths at Gordon Carmichael Reserve and into the city.
The project is being funded by Waka Kotahi with a portion awarded as part of the National Land Transport Programme, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
Council will begin preliminary work as soon as possible with the main construction starting in February next year. Construction will take several months.
Speed limit change:
A reduction in the current speed limit from 80km/h to 50km/h between the Wairoa Bridge and Carmichael Road is also proposed.
Link to more information: www.tauranga.govt.nz/wairoacycleway