The NZ Transport Agency and Rotorua Lakes Council are inviting residents to learn more about work planned for State Highway 30A/Amohau St next Wednesday.

Two public information sessions will be held at Rotorua Central Mall to update residents and businesses on the proposed improvements planned for the city centre corridor.

The Central Corridor project will help improve access, increase safety, and create further opportunities for multi-modal travel in Rotorua's city centre from Old Taupo Rd to Sala St, according to an NZTA written statement.

Work includes walking and cycling improvements, as well as safety initiatives, to enable the further growth and revitalisation of businesses in the city centre.

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In 2015 the council and the Transport Agency agreed to work towards changing the ownership of SH30A. Since then both parties have been working together to adapt the central corridor to support its future local road function and the city centre revitalisation.

In 2017 the Transport Agency explored the current issues with the corridor and identified potential solutions through a business case process.

Two public open days in April 2017, as well as direct engagement with stakeholders, helped refine identified solutions into a set of proposed improvements.

Once the works are complete, ownership of the state highway will be handed to the council to manage as a local road.

Central Mall Rotorua.
Central Mall Rotorua.

Director of regional relationships Ross I'Anson said the busy road was currently a barrier to the Rotorua Central Mall and the rest of the Central Business District for cyclists, pedestrians and other multi-modal users.

"Although there are pedestrian crossing facilities at most intersections, the high traffic volumes, long crossing distances and significant pedestrian delays create issues for pedestrians," I'Anson said.

"We have also found that SH30A is primarily used for local trips, rather than regional journeys."

Staff from the Transport Agency, the council and Opus will be at Rotorua Central Mall next Wednesday to discuss the proposed improvements with the public.

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"The project is currently in the detailed design phase, which is expected to be completed this year.

"The detailed design, once complete, will give us a greater understanding of the deliverables, timing and funding requirements.

"A condition of the funding for SH30A is 'an implementation and funding plan agreed between Rotorua Lakes Council and the NZ Transport Agency'," I'Anson said.

The Central Corridor project is part of the wider Connect Rotorua programme of work, which aims to improve access and safety across the city and increase opportunities for alternative modes of transport.

The public information sessions are on May 8 at Rotorua Central Mall (inside the previous Bendon store) from 11am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 5.30pm.