Community day and cycling event ahead of opening of the BoP’s largest roading project.
New Zealand’s newest stretch of state highway – the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) - will open to traffic on Monday August 3, five months ahead of schedule.
After 4½ years of construction the $455 million road was officially opened on Thursday 30 July by Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges. It’s the second of seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) based around New Zealand's five largest population centres to be fully completed.
A cycling event and community day takes place on Saturday 1 August, with thousands expected to walk, run, cycle, bus or take a helicopter ride across the 21 km four-lane, median divided highway between Tauranga and Paengaroa.
The Transport Agency’s Regional Director Harry Wilson says the new road will leave a lasting impression on the region, bringing many social benefits and opening up further economic opportunities in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. It will also provide more predictable travel times, critical to business attraction and growth.
“The TEL has been designed to support the growth of the Bay of Plenty, reduce travel times and improve safety. It will be a strong anchor to support managed land use in a planned and sensible progression in this region.”
The TEL also boasts a shared 6.8 km walking and cycle path, more than 300,000 native plants and two large scale public artworks. One of the artworks is a 130m long pa sculpture, the largest public art piece currently in NZ.
It’s considered one of the most geotechnically challenging major roading projects in the country due to soft ground conditions. And as with all projects of this size has had its challenges, such as the unexpected fire at the Domain Road interchange in November 2014.
Mr Wilson said the success of the project was due to many, including the Fulton Hogan HEB Construction Alliance (FHHCA), Beca, Transport Agency staff, local councils, councillors and other advocates.
“A big thank you also to the local community who have been part of road works for the past 4½ years. We hope you enjoy driving on the TEL as much as we enjoyed building it.”
For further information visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/tel(external link).
For more information contact:
Communications and stakeholder manager