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Tolley: Upgrading transport corridors important

An artist's impression of what Cameron Road will look like. Supplied image.

Proposed City Plan changes are set to transform Tauranga over the coming years, as the city builds up as well as out, and accommodates more of its growing population within its existing footprint.

The Te Papa peninsula has a key role to play in supporting ‘internal growth’ and Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says that makes the upgrading of main transport corridors like Cameron Road all the more important.

“Tauranga is on the verge of an exciting transformation, as we move to manage our growth and invest to create the thriving and liveable city residents have told us they want, for themselves and for future generations,” says Tolley.

“In that regard, the decisions we make today are crucial. This is why it is strategically important to invest a bit more in the Futureproofing Cameron Road project now, to ensure that we achieve the outcomes the community has highlighted through the recent consultation process," she says.

Tauranga City Council’s General Manager: Strategy & Growth, Christine Jones, says the Cameron Road corridor and the wider Te Papa peninsula are well-placed to help accommodate some of our growth.

“We are proposing that parts of the Te Papa peninsula provide for increased density, such as apartment living and townhouses, to support a larger population. Visible change along the corridor will happen over time, as people decide to redevelop,” she says.

At the Council meeting on August 30, Tauranga City Council Commissioners approved an increase in the project’s budget to $60.5 million, three-quarters of which will be covered by a Crown Infrastructure Partners grant.

The additional funding provided – $13 million split over the next two financial years – will cover the nationwide construction sector cost increases which have occurred since the project was approved.

It will also allow connectivity, safety and amenity outcomes requested by the community to be included in the project scope. 

Tolley says the Cameron Road project is an essential step in providing for the growing city’s needs.

“While the project will cater for a higher population living and working in the Te Papa peninsula in the future, the infrastructure upgrades planned will also benefit the wider community and business sector now,” she says. 

“With the recent and upcoming development happening in the city centre, such as the waterfront upgrade, University campus and Durham Street overhaul, the Farmers development, new apartments and student accommodation and Wharf Street Eats, the potential for a modern and exciting city centre is clear to see. Futureproofing Cameron Road is critically important, because it will provide better access to a vibrant city centre,” she adds.  

Early work along Cameron Road began in July to upgrade the city’s wastewater services. Above-the-ground work will commence shortly after Tauranga moves to Covid-19 Alert Level 3, including new, peak travel-time bus lanes in both directions and a two-way cycleway, along with improvements to make the Cameron Road area safer and more walkable, attractive and community-friendly.

Tolley says that in conjunction with proposed City Plan changes to facilitate new housing opportunities and the amenities and infrastructure required by a growing Te Papa population, Futureproofing Cameron Road provides an opportunity to “get in front of growth and manage it”.  

“We need to build better connecting roads, but we also need to provide alternatives that allow people to get around by walking, cycling and on public transport. Not acting now will end up costing us far more in the future and affect our ability to create the sort of city people want to live, learn, work and play in,” she says.

To ensure that the necessary foundations are in place to support the city’s growth, council is working closely with its partners, including tangata whenua, Central Government, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Key decisions on providing future infrastructure, such as bus lanes, cycleways and new or upgraded roads, are considered at a partnership level, to ensure balanced outcomes are achieved.

Namouta Poutasi, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana General Manager Strategy & Science, says the city’s challenges have been decades in the making and will take some time to fix.

“It’s important that we start that process now and we are committed to working together to achieve the environmentally-sustainable solutions our communities need today, and in the future.” 

“An effective public transport system requires a collaborative approach between all our partners - Regional Council and operators, territorial local authorities and Waka Kotahi, as well as the input and support of local residents,” says Poutasi.

“We’ll keep working with these groups and other stakeholders to ensure the public transport system we deliver integrates well with community needs, other transport modes and land-use development.” 

Jess Andrew, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Regional Manager System Design says that for urban areas to thrive, people need to be able to move around easily and have a range of choices about how they get to work, connect with family and friends and access services.

“We need to build a modern transport system with a mix of reliable transport options that help keep people and products moving safely. Transforming Cameron Road is a significant step in delivering the Urban Form and Transport Initiative Connected Centres programme, which will ensure existing and future communities have greater and safer travel choices to get people where they need to go,” she says. 
Anne Tolley. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Tolley says the needs of the community, both today and in the future, have been taken into consideration and balanced against each other.

“The final Cameron Road design includes new part-time bus lanes, retention of the existing traffic lanes, a new two-way cycleway, new loading bays and clearways where needed, intersection improvements and more signalised pedestrian crossings, as well as landscaping and stormwater upgrades. These improvements accommodate the community’s requests, while providing a technical solution which will make Cameron Road safer, more attractive, and provide better ways for people to travel,” she says. 

Council has awarded the Futureproofing Cameron Road contract to a Joint Venture between local firms Fulton Hogan and Downer NZ.

“This enables both firms to join forces and work closely together to deliver the best outcome for council and the community,” says Tauranga City Council’s Director of Transport, Brendan Bisley. 

“We’re living in one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand. To deliver a big city project like Futureproofing Cameron Road, you need big city thinking. Fulton Hogan and Downer’s joint venture model not only allows for greater agility, but it provides a more streamlined construction approach with considerable expertise and resourcing,” he says.

To view the detailed design concepts and for more information about Futureproofing Cameron Road please visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/cameronroad.

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12 Comments
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Tom Ranger

Posted on 04-09-2021 14:25 | By

@ Johnney Yup. How can anyone trust them with the city’s wallet if they go and do stuff like sell their close accomplices ..ahem I mean preferred contractor. Millions of dollars worth of work and prime land for $1. How can anyone possibly trust them to spend money? If your son/daughter/employee made a decision like that. You’d have them drug tested!

Bike lanes

Posted on 03-09-2021 16:48 | By Johnney

Wouldn’t it be nice to have proper bike lanes along the edge of the estuary beside the expressway and Memorial Park, well away from traffic. Didn’t see any mention of new car park buildings, now that we gave the latest one away for $1.

Slow everything down

Posted on 02-09-2021 10:44 | By Kancho

It’s quite clear through the spin that it’s about slowing traffic to a point where the expected outcome is to use buses. I expect the current situation will continue especially as work starts that people will avoid going into the downtown area. More pedestrian crossings will create very slow traffic like the poor designed Greerton village. Buses will not be the answer for most the proof is already there , empty buses. Trips that take 20 minutes in a car take near twice as long not to mention bad weather lack of shelter, going to several places and carrying everything. Still the Rubicon will be crossed regards . I find even getting to the hospital difficult by bus but can’t see anything improving too far to walk and bikes not practical either . Greenie hijacked

Road repairs

Posted on 02-09-2021 07:07 | By Kancho

So bike lanes etc but road surfaces breaking up around the city not being fixed. Have seen the road marked up several times for repairs over two years or more yet nothing ever happens and the paint marks disappear worn away by traffic. Whatever happened to the announced speed lowering in some areas of town over a year ago ? Seems a lot of basics are being ignored and road repairs and improvements are failing to happen.

Would be interesting

Posted on 01-09-2021 20:52 | By

to know how the "anything but cars" protagonists travel to work at the council, NZTA, etc. Their press releases seem to use a lot of words to say nothing!

Release the final design plans - OIA

Posted on 01-09-2021 19:49 | By

Yet Anne point-blank refusess to release - publish ANY design plans to the public. WHY? no council, no major roading project in NZ has ever treated the public with complete utter contempt. PUBLISH design plans ANNE!! Anne ignored an OIA, 2x letter follow-up requests, and rejected cycle advocacy groups’ requests to meet and discuss non transparency concerns. GIVEN TCC Transport teams track record, TCC are most likely hiding an unsafe cycling setup design ? The above pic is all the design info council will release - which is NOTHING

Corridors

Posted on 01-09-2021 18:01 | By

I’m looking forward to the future proofed travel corridors. I will be like Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element buzzing around Tauranga.

GOLLY GOSH MY

Posted on 01-09-2021 15:49 | By old trucker

Thoughts only in these troubled times things should be left alone, all the empty buses running along with nobody in them, 12 seater vans would be better, but TCC will not listen, it will go from 45 million to 100 million cause they will find a bone and stop, workers (bludgers) on Cameron rd this morning doing nothing all kids that do not know a thing about anything doing the work, it will take 2yrs for this, there is nothing wrong as it is, BUT someone sitting in tower says lets spend 45mill,. you do not see many cyclists out there going into town only TCC bludgers riding with there little back packs on going in to change the world, China built a hospital in 6weeks, imagine if they did CAMERON RD IN A WEEK and thats with a shovel and barrow, any way SUNLIVE who is NO1,Thankyou 10-4 out.phew.

La la land

Posted on 01-09-2021 15:05 | By

Same old stuff about bus lanes and cycle ways and everybody living in the CBD. Sprinkled with buzzwords like connectivity and futureproofing to make it sound clever. There is no such thing as futureproofing. That’s just complete bullshit.

Big City Thinking

Posted on 01-09-2021 14:01 | By

How on earth is a part time bus lane and a two way cycle lane big city thinking? Surely big city thinking is more along the lines of a monorail from The Lakes to The Mount to Bayfair stopping at many various locations en-route such as Greerton, Gate Pa, hospital, 3 or 4 stops in town, Sulphur Point, Mount, Bayfair, . . . How many cyclists will be hit, maimed, crippled, killed by turning traffic across a two way cycle lane, cars stopping suddenly for cyclists and next thing whamo - nose to tails . . .

Blah Blah

Posted on 01-09-2021 12:17 | By gincat

Oh dear 27% cost blow out before any dirt turned. Fulton Hogan and Dowers NZ are NOT local firms.

Hahaha

Posted on 01-09-2021 11:40 | By

What utter nonsense.... "the nice to have" mentality wins out with councils all around the country because not one council has the courage to even attempt the "must have" issues, such as Turret Road, Maungatapu Bridge, Barkes corner,Wairoa Bridge, Bethlehem roundabout. We pussyfoot around with irrelevances like bus an cycle lanes whilst the real issues languish in the "too hard" basket