Hot town, summer in the city


Moving around Tauranga is going to take a bit of extra planning over the rest of summer, as work accelerates on a number of the big roading projects in the western Bay of Plenty.

Jo Wilton, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager for Infrastructure Delivery, says it’s all part of a mission to support growth in this important region.

“There is a huge level of investment, including $655 million on stage one of the Takitimu North Link project, which is the Bay of Plenty’s biggest roading project to date.

“Overall, we are striving to make the western Bay of Plenty a safer destination and a better place to live, and with these projects we will save lives and create better journeys for all.”

Takitimu North Link is a new 6.8km four-lane highway connecting State Highway 29 Takitimu Drive through to State Highway 2 (SH2) west of Te Puna. It will provide an alternative route to the existing SH2, moving trucks away from local roads and significantly improving safety and accessibility, resilience and transport choice in the region.

It’s now one year into construction and making great progress despite the wet spring and early summer weather. Work has begun on five bridges to be built across the project, and the team is preparing for its first full earthworks season.

The construction bridge over the Wairoa Awa (river) enables a permanent bridge to be built and provides access for construction vehicles across the river.

SH2 Baypark to Bayfair Link

Further east, the Baypark to Bayfair Link project will complete the SH2 Eastern Corridor, transform how people move through the area and contribute to a more resilient transport network in Tauranga. It will improve safety for everyone by separating local traffic from the state highway and rail corridor and provide safer walking and cycling connections.

After a busy 2022, marking milestones such as the partial opening of the new SH2/29A Te Maunga interchange, work on the next major pieces has resumed, making the most of summer’s long, dry days. This includes constructing the final retaining walls and barriers on the Bayfair flyover, continuing works at the new Bayfair roundabout and on Truman Lane, and completing the final ramp of the SH2/29A Te Maunga interchange. Both the off-ramp and the Bayfair flyover are currently expected to open this autumn.

SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road

There are two major worksites on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road.

The first of these is the SH2 Pāpāmoa East Interchange, a project funded 51% by Waka Kotahi and 49% the Tauranga City Council, to build a full diamond intersection, providing access from Pāpāmoa East through to Tauranga CBD, Mount Maunganui and Te Puke.

Ms Wilton says the interchange is much needed; “It will provide people living in Pāpāmoa East with a welcome alternative travel route, no matter their destination.”

The interchange also means the region will have the road capacity to enable more housing and commercial development, which is essential to support the growing city. 

Work also began accelerating around 6km east at the future SH2 Rangiuru Business Park Interchange site. The Rangiuru Business Park will provide 148 hectares of prime, connected industrial space, providing opportunities for businesses wanting to relocate or expand.

The interchange is being funded by an $18 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund. Ms Wilton says, “We’re pleased that work is beginning on the interchange project, a critical piece of infrastructure required for the development of the Rangiuru Business Park.”

The Eastern Link Toll Road.

SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa

Shifting sights east of Tauranga, the $164 million project to improve safety on SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa is a vital one for the region, and it’s shaping up to be another busy year with the construction of Morton Road roundabout and the design of flexible median barrier between Katikati and Ōmokoroa.

Waka Kotahi will share designs with the community early 2023, once the independent safety audit is complete, so people will have the opportunity to see the planned layout of the road.

Another major milestone to look forward to in 2023 is the completion of the Morton Road roundabout, and work starting on roundabouts at Sharp Road and Lockington Road/Matahui Road.

Tauranga CBD

Meanwhile, construction work upgrading Cameron Road has resumed. Temporary traffic management has been reinstated in all three work zones along Cameron Road, with the road reduced to one lane in some sections.

The Cameron Road Joint Venture team has also started upgrading the Fifteenth Avenue and Cameron Road intersection. Road users are advised to be prepared for traffic delays during construction in this area, please allow extra time and plan your journey accordingly. Regular updates are provided on the Tauranga City Council website.

For up-to-date information on road works, traffic, detours and delays, drivers are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website.

Journey Planner(external link)