A $45 million grant for improvements on Cameron Rd was announced today under the Government's "shovel-ready" infrastructure programme.
Tauranga City Council said the grant would spark wide-ranging transport improvements along the key Tauranga commuting corridor and enable longer-term development throughout the Te Papa peninsula.
One of a suite of projects proposed by the council for inclusion in the Government's post-pandemic economic stimulus package, the Cameron Rd project will focus on improvements along a 3km stretch of the city's main north/south access route, between 17th Ave and the central business district.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said the announcement was an "absolute shot in the arm which will propel progress in Tauranga".
"The strength of the relationship developed with central government throughout the year has paid dividends and this project alone will deliver 200-plus jobs in construction and professional services in the short-term, with a second wave of employment to follow via the housing and commercial development facilitated by the infrastructure investment," he said.
"This will be a catalyst for progress on multiple fronts, enabling housing intensification, promoting transport choice and implementing a raft of roading, amenity and environmental improvements.
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"In essence, this will put in place the first major building blocks for urban growth in this part of the city, which over the next three decades, could result in around 19,000 additional homes for 29,000 additional residents, and allow the creation of employment hubs providing for up to 15,000 additional jobs."
Powell said to be able to substantially progress the work without impacting on council debt and rates costs was a massive advantage for the fast-growing city and the Government was to be congratulated for its visionary approach to high-quality urban development.
Council infrastructure general manager Nic Johansson said work would get underway over the next few months on the design and planning requirements for the project, with a view to calling for tenders in early-2021.
Physical works would then roll out progressively from mid-2021, and be completed by September 2023.
Significant project components include:
• Peak commute period bus clearways and intersection improvements to enhance public transport reliability.
• High-quality bus stops, bus shelters and messaging infrastructure.
• Separated cycleway and "micro-mobility spine" between Tauranga Hospital and the city centre.
• Side-street improvements and placemaking initiatives.
• Intersection and safety improvements, including new traffic signals.
• Pedestrian crossing improvements.
• Central median and kerb adjustments to support the new road layout pavement renewals.
• Stormwater improvements.
It is expected bus clearways would transition to dedicated bus lanes within five to 10 years of the project's completion, with the timing to be determined by intensification progress and bus patronage.
Johansson said aspects of the work had been the subject of a community engagement process with key business and other stakeholders over the past 18 months, and the wider community would also be consulted as the plans progress.