What are we proposing?
Based on our technical investigations and community feedback gathered in 2022, we developed proposed options for improvements on Fifteenth Avenue, Turret Road, Hairini Bridge and causeway and Welcome Bay Road.
Below is a map showing an overview of the project area.
Overview map (66kb pdf)
Below are details of proposed options within each of the zones identified in the map above.
Fifteenth Avenue, Turret Road and the Hairini Bridge and causeway between Cameron Road and SH29A Interchange
Zone 1-2 map (100kb pdf)
- High-occupancy vehicle or bus priority lanes created on Fifteenth Avenue between Cameron Road and Burrows Street, Turret Road and Hairini Bridge and causeway to help people move around our city faster and more reliably. High occupancy lanes could be for two or more people (T2) or three or more people (T3). This would reduce the existing general traffic lanes in some sections of the corridor from two to one.
- Creating a third lane between Burrows Street and SH29A Interchange (across the bridge and causeway).
- To make space for this additional lane across the bridge, we would introduce a clip-on shared use path (for people walking, cycling, scootering or using a mobility device).
- We are exploring the viability of this additional lane for ‘tidal flow’.
- ‘Tidal flow’ means the direction of the traffic lanes can be changed depending on the demand.
- For example, there could be two lanes into the city in the morning and two lanes out to Welcome Bay in the afternoon, to reduce congestion.
- If a ‘tidal flow’ system isn’t possible (e.g. for safety reasons) the third lane could be a permanent additional ‘citybound’ lane.
- One of the citybound lanes could be a high-occupancy vehicle or bus priority lane.
- Safe places for people to walk and ride bikes including a shared path or on-road cycle facilities that will help connect people to schools, shopping, and other activities.
- Two new signalised crossings on Fifteenth Avenue, one at Devonport Road and one at Grace Road to provide safe crossing points for people who walk and ride bikes and scooters.
- Safety improvements including 30km speed zones around Tauranga Boys’ College and St Mary’s Catholic School, raised tables on the approaches to some intersections, and centre median barriers on Fifteenth Avenue.
- A turnaround bay is proposed for Turret Road near the Hairini Bridge to provide drivers a place to turn safely.
We are also investigating when four lanes between Burrows Street and SH29A Interchange might be needed. We do not believe this will be needed in the short-term and will use further test results on the bridge life expectancy and traffic modelling to understand timing.
A three-lane option across the Hairini Bridge and causeway will cost significantly less than the continuation of four lanes from Burrows Street to the end of the Hairini causeway. It will also take less time to plan, consent and build. The additional costs for a four lane option relate to the need to purchase property and build a new bridge. We believe the three-lane option is a good short to medium term option to make the best use of the existing bridge for its remaining life, improve transport choices along the corridor and reduce congestion.
Welcome Bay Road
Zone 3-4 map (99kb pdf)
- Two new signalised intersections with bus priority, one at Kaitemako Road and one at James Cook Drive to allow for safer crossings and to improve bus and traffic flow. We’re also investigating the viability of bus lanes along sections of Welcome Bay Road.
- A bus priority lane on James Cook Drive between Victory Street and Welcome Bay Road.
- Safe places for people to walk and ride bikes including:
- Shared user path on the northern side of Welcome Bay Road between Welcome Bay School and Kaitemako Road.
- On-road cycle lane on the southern side of Welcome Bay Road between Welcome Bay School and Kaitemako Road.
- Safety improvements including new and upgraded crossings and raised tables for people walking or using a bike as well as 30kph speed zone around Welcome Bay School and Welcome Bay Village (part of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Road to Zero strategy).
Waitaha Road roundabout and safety improvements near Welcome Bay School
A new roundabout will be built at the intersection of Welcome Bay Road and Waitaha Road. Raised tables (crossings) will also be added either side of the roundabout on Waitaha Road and Welcome Bay Road (city side of the roundabout) to provide a safe crossing point for people walking or using a bike. The existing pedestrian crossing opposite Welcome Bay Village will also be upgraded to a raised table. Construction of these improvements is expected to get underway in March 2024 and Council will engage with local residents before physical works begin.
As part of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Road to Zero strategy, a 30km speed zone is proposed around Welcome Bay School and a raised crossing will be added outside the school. Council is engaging with the Welcome Bay School community and construction is due to get underway in January 2024.
No changes will be made to the Hairini/Maungatapu underpass.
If you would like more explanation of any of the technical terms, see our Glossary of terms below.
Protecting our flora and fauna
The Pōhutukawa trees next to Turret Road are protected as Notable trees under the City Plan. They will not be impacted by changes proposed in any of the options. There may be opportunities to enhance the space around these trees to ensure they are protected and continue to be valued by the community.
The Hairini Bridge is home to a colony of protected white-fronted terns which nest on the historic piers on the western side of the bridge. We are investigating options to ensure a good nesting habitat for the tern population is available before any changes are made to the area.