The four-laning of Turret Rd and 15th Ave has moved one step closer as part of a $192 million transport package being considered for Tauranga.
The $51m roading project to duplicate the Turret Rd bridge and four-lane Turret Rd and 15th Ave has been pencilled in to happen after 2021.
Councillor Steve Morris said he did not believe the Labour-led coalition government would meet the unfulfilled pledge by National to make the four-laning part of the fully funded Tauranga Central Corridor project so the council needed to make it happen.
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"It is good to see the four-laning in an active budget - I'd like to acknowledge that," Morris told this week's Transport Committee meeting.
"We must get on with it," he said.
This week the project was considered for the first time as part of the council's 2018-28 Long Term Plan, which means it could become a reality within 10 years.
However, the immediate focus was on $95.6m worth of projects eyed for the first three years of the plan between 2018 and 2021 including improving public transport and cycling.
The biggest chunk of proposed transport spending over the next three years was $40m of projects to provide "better transport choices". Topping the list of projects to improve public transport and cycling was $12m to deliver the council's cycle plan.
Other projects could include $10m to upgrade Domain Rd, $6.4m for cycle and pedestrian improvements in Mount Maunganui, including Totara St, Maunganui Rd, Marine Parade and Blake Park, new bus interchanges at Hairini and the CBD worth $3.5m and nearly $2m was earmarked for a new separated cycleway on a section of Ngatai Rd and improvements to the Beach Rd and Harbour Drive pathways.
Councillor Larry Baldock said the port company wanted to see a project not included in the 10-year plan - construction of an overbridge at the intersection of Totara St and Hewletts Rd so traffic flowed more freely.
He said the port company also questioned why Totara St was not a state highway because it was used by heavy traffic going to the port.
He endorsed recent comments by motoring writer Maurice O'Reilly who said Tauranga's rapid growth meant the projects would not solve traffic congestion. Looking at the millions earmarked for cycleways, Baldock said he hoped it would result in more people biking.
Other proposed roading works for the next three years included contributing $1m to install traffic lights at Barkes Corner, which would go through a safety audit before a final decision was made.
Other projects to improve network reliability was a $2.5m upgrade of the intersection of Cameron Rd and 15th Ave, and $2.1m to improve the intersection of Takitimu Drive and Elizabeth St.
Big budget safety improvements of $16m over the next three years included the heavily subsidised $6.2m of streetlight upgrades; $1.6m for intersection upgrades, $1m for Windsor Rd's area-wide traffic management and a $300,000 contribution to improving the intersection of SH 29 and Cambridge Rd
The council was proposing to spend $9.6m upgrading semi-rural roads to an urban standard to support changes of land use.
A further $5.6m was to create a transport network that enhanced "liveability". This included developing a plan to improve urban centres as part of the medium density compact city project. It would also meet the costs arising from the trial of a one-way system in Mount Maunganui North.
The council was earmarking $16m for projects mostly related to parking - including completion of the Harington St carparking building.
Key elements of the council's $192m of new transport projects
Better transport choices: Improve walking, cycling and public transport.
More reliable journey times: Lane and intersection capacity improvements.
Safer roads: Targeted projects, speed management and minor improvements.