BOP and Coromandel transport package - National
National has announced a suite of transports projects that will “create hundreds of jobs and drive economic growth” across the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.
The transport package includes building the full Tauranga to Katikati Expressway, complete with a bypass at Katikati.
It will also connect the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel with a new four-lane expressway.
“National’s vision is to transform Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga into one economic powerhouse, unlocking their potential so the upper North Island becomes Australasia’s most dynamic region,” says National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop.
“By delivering high-quality, efficient transport links we will get our economy growing faster.
“The Tauranga Northern Link was out for tender before the last election and the project has gone nowhere since because Labour cut $5 billion from the state highway budget.
“Labour belatedly put money towards part of this critical project but chose not to fund the final section from Omokoroa to Katikati, including the bypass of the town.”
National will invest $855 million in this project, with construction due to start in 2027.
“This is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country. There have been 42 fatal crashes between Tauranga and Katikati in the past 20 years. Between 2012 and 2016 there were 18 fatalities, the highest death toll of state highways listed by NZTA,” says Bishop.
National will also invest $300 million to deliver the SH2 Pokeno to Mangatarata improvement projects that were cancelled by Labour.
This road links Auckland and Tauranga with the Coromandel. It is at capacity with an average of more than 15,000 vehicles using it daily, including peaks of more than 25,000 vehicles.
National says this highway also has a poor safety record.
There were 18 crashes between 2011 and 2016, resulting in 34 deaths and serious injuries
NZTA estimates National’s investment will reduce death and serious injury by 80 per cent over 20 years.
The project will start in National’s first term. It will include two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane – with futureproofing to allow for a second eastbound lane if required – and four grade-separated intersections.
“National will also upgrade three one-way bridges in the Coromandel. These bridges, particularly on main corridors like SH25 into Tairua, have long frustrated locals and tourists alike,” says Chris.
National will begin work on the following one-way bridges:
· The Hikuai River (Bailey) Bridge - SH25 South.
· The Pepe Stream Bridge - SH25 South of Tairua township.
· The Grahams Stream Bridge - SH5 North of Tairua township.
“NZTA said in 2018 that upgrading one-lane bridges would not occur for at least a decade, from 2029 onwards,” Bishop says.
“National will bring these forward and complete them in our first term. Funding will come from within National’s record transport infrastructure funding envelope.”