The Maungatapu underpass opened on 22 June 2018. It was built by the NZ Transport Agency to help improve traffic flow through the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts.
Maungatapu underpass speed limit review
New urban roads have a default 50km/h speed limit. Now that Tauranga City Council and the NZ Transport Agency have had a chance to see how the new underpass is working, the speed limit needs to be formalised.
We want to make sure the speed limits in the Maungatapu underpass area, including the Hairini causeway, are safe, consistent and appropriate for everyone. The underpass was designed and constructed for a safe and appropriate speed of 60km/h.
For consistency, we’re proposing that the road connecting from Welcome Bay Road to through to Turret Road be restricted to 60km/h, including the on ramps and the off-ramp linking to the SH29A Maungatapu roundabout. Consultation closes on 25 November 2018. The final speed limit will be formalised through a bylaw amendment in December 2018.
Have your say about proposed speed limit changes
Hairini Street vehicle access
Access onto the Hairini causeway through Hairini Street was closed at short notice on 25 June 2018, several days after the underpass opened, because of concerns about vehicle collisions.
Future access for general traffic from Hairini Street is still under review by the NZ Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council. The primary consideration is people’s safety. Traffic modelling is underway for the wider area which will help with decisions about improving traffic flow and addressing safety issues.
Hairini Street bus lane
A new bus lane was opened on 6 July 2018. The bus lane is working well and is an important step toward enabling more reliable bus trips between Hairini and the city, especially as the Bay of Plenty Regional Council prepares to increase the number of bus services in December 2018.
Cycle safety review
We want to make it easier for more people to ride to and from Welcome Bay, which requires safe, well-connected biking routes. A cycle safety review was commissioned by the council and the Transport Agency after the underpass opened. The report confirmed that Welcome Bay Lane needed to be closed at the intersection of Welcome Bay Road. The road was closed on Saturday, 29 September 2018. This is a temporary safety measure while we consider how best to maintain a safe environment for everyone using this section of road.
NZ Transport Agency and the council are working closely with the designers of the underpass project and safety auditors to find suitable solutions that will make the area as safe as possible. We are looking very carefully at all of the recommendations to come out of the safety report. Some are straightforward to implement, others are more complex and will require more time.
We need to understand the wider impact on journey times because some recommendations have the potential to affect the flow of traffic, particularly during the morning peak.
Last Reviewed: 14/11/2018