Access to the Whakarewarewa Rugby Club has moved further along Te Ngae Rd with the original access at the intersection of Sala St now permanently closed.

The intersection is being upgraded as part of the Eastern Corridor Stage One State Highway 30 project between Sala St and Iles Rd.

Entry to the rugby club will be from the new access, which has been built off the existing access to Puarenga Park and MIGS gym.

Waka Kotahi Portfolio Manager Jo Wilton said closing the access to the rugby club removed one leg from the intersection and meant traffic travelling along Te Ngae Rd would no longer have to stop for vehicles entering and exiting the club.

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"With the access closed, we can progress with further improvements to the intersection, including a new left-turn slip lane from Sala St into SH30, safety improvements for cyclists, and new signalised pedestrian crossings.

"When complete, this upgrade will make the intersection safer and easier to use for all road users."

Wilton said Waka Kotahi had worked closely with the rugby club throughout the planning process.

"We have also resealed a section of the club's carpark to provide additional parks and completed new line marking."

Whakarewarewa Rugby Community Sports Inc. President Warena Morgan said the club was looking forward to having the upgraded entrance way.

"Working with Waka Kotahi to agree on a more functional access to the club has been a smooth process, and our perspective and feedback has been valued.

"The new access is going to be very valuable, especially on match days when the car park is heavily used," Morgan said.

Signage has been installed at the old and new access points to alert the public. Work on the left-turn slip lane at Sala St is scheduled to start later this month.

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The $17 million Eastern Corridor Stage One project is part of the Connect Rotorua programme of work to futureproof two of Rotorua's key corridors, State Highway 30/Te Ngae Rd and State Highway 30A/Amohau St.

It involves upgrades of key intersections, safety improvements, some four-laning, and a new shared path and on-road cycleway.

Construction started in February and is expected to be completed in late 2021.