Work to upgrade the Springfield/Otonga Rd intersection will start on January 8.

Contractors will begin construction work to elevate the intersection to create a raised platform and roundabout.

There will also be improvements to the footpath and the installation of two pedestrian crossings.

The decision to upgrade the intersection was made in May following extensive user/traffic modelling, observations and research, carried out by Rotorua Lakes Council staff and other specialists.


According to a statement on the council's website, the review was prompted by nine incidents at the intersection since 2010 and requests from Otonga Rd Primary School.

The council considered several available options to improve safety for all users without significantly impacting traffic flow.

Contractors will deliver a letter to nearby affected residents as a reminder before the work starts.

Work will start in front of the school with the construction of the new footpath, kerb and channel.

This work will be done first so it can be completed before students return to school at the end of January.

The council expects the rest of the work, including the excavation and construction of the new raised roundabout, to be in progress when students return to school.

This could cause extra pressure during pick-up and drop-off times until the project is completed.

Contractors will aim to minimise any inconvenience as much as possible, however parents will be encouraged to use alternative pick-up points for their children such as the path that runs behind Jackson Park kindergarten to Springfield Rd.

Work will be done in stages starting at the south-east end (Old Taupo Rd) moving to the south-west side (Pukehangi Rd) and completing the northern portion last.

The project is expected to take 10 weeks, weather permitting.

Work on the second phase of the Springfield cycleway will also start next year and will see the shared path continue along Springfield Rd up to Jackson Park kindergarten where it will cross to the other side of the road and continue to Devon St west, and connect to a new-off road cycleway which will follow the Utuhina Stream.

The council's Safe and Sustainable Journeys team have been working with Otonga Rd Primary School to deliver cycle skills training to the students and teachers as well as travel planning to help students and parents better consider their route when traveling to and from school with the aim of easing congestion at the main gate.

Springfield intersection plan features:
- Wider shared use footpaths
- Pedestrian crossing at the south and west arms (pedestrian has right of way)
- Courtesy crossing at the north and east arms (vehicles have right of way)
- Underground electrical ducting for future changes if required
- Pedestrian hand rails to help with safer crossing