One of Tauranga's busiest intersection is about to go under a transformation, with traffic lights being installed at Barkes Corner from Monday.
The lights are expected to help alleviate traffic woes at the roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 29A and Cameron Rd.
The lights will be queue activated – a system called roundabout metering.
New Zealand Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty transport system manager Rob Campbell said the lights were designed for roundabouts where one road was busier than the others leading into the intersection, dominating the flow into the roundabout and causing delays on the other roads.
"The Pyes Pa Road approach to the roundabout is busier than the other roads in the morning peak, so the traffic lights on the SH29A westbound approach will hold back traffic to allow Pyes Pa Road traffic through.
"Similarly, the traffic lights on Pyes Pa Road will be phased to improve the flow for eastbound traffic on SH29A from Tauriko during the weekday evening peak."
The roundabout traffic lights will be on 24/7 and will be located about 30m before the give way signs.
"Most of the time the traffic lights will be green, except when high traffic queues on one leg activate them, then the traffic lights will turn red to stop the vehicles, allowing traffic from the busiest road to enter the roundabout. The red phase is short and will turn green before another large queue is created."
Standard give way rules will still apply when entering the roundabout – even when the traffic lights are green. The traffic lights do not mean that the roundabout is signalised like the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts.
Campbell said the lights were designed to improve the traffic flow around the roundabout for all drivers, not just the ones on the busiest roads. Their performance will be monitored and changes made if necessary.
Roundabout metering will also be installed on SH2 Takitimu Drive and Elizabeth St roundabout, with traffic lights on the SH2 northbound approach to the roundabout. These will be operational in the coming months.
The work is part of a wider programme being implemented across the region to improve safety and journey times.