Ngongotahā residents are invited to a public information session next week.

It will cover transport infrastructure projects being delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Rotorua Lakes Council, and joint initiatives by the Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council to address flood resilience.

Rotorua Lakes Council's Infrastructure general manager, Stavros Michael, said community feedback, and the fact Ngongotahā had been identified as an area for potential future growth, had been the catalyst.

"In response to community concerns, the council commissioned a study to identify infrastructure safety issues in Ngongotahā and develop potential solutions. We are now seeking community feedback on these solutions to determine which option to progress with."

Advertisement

The feedback will help the council seek funding from Waka Kotahi to implement the safety infrastructure changes in the Ngongotahā Village and State Highway 36 road corridor, guide improvements within the village, and inform the council's 2021 – 2031 Long-term Plan.

"Ngongotahā village has a number of unique characteristics that need to be taken into account with any changes to its infrastructure," Michael said.

"State Highway 36 runs through the centre of the village – it's a route used by large trucks and is seeing increasing amounts of traffic travelling south, as well as having local schools and care homes nearby.

"It's important to find the balance between the village community and local businesses' needs, as well as the needs of those drivers who regularly use the thoroughfare from the surrounding areas.

"Feedback from the community will help to determine what those needs are. Proactively addressing traffic safety concerns will also help us to move forward with locality plans and residential development."

Public consultation on the proposed options to improve safety through Ngongotahā village opened on September 9 and finishes on October 7 2020.

Waka Kotahi started the State Highway 5 Tarukenga to Ngongotahā safety and SH5/SH36 roundabout improvements project earlier this month, to make the stretch of state highway and busy roundabout safer.

Waka Kotahi Principal Project Manager Steve Cox is encouraging anybody who lives along the route or are regular users of the SH5/SH36 roundabout to go along to the information session.

Advertisement

"We will be speaking in more detail about the safety improvements that will be made to the road, and the plans to manage traffic while the roundabout upgrade is under way."

"We will also be answering any questions the public has on this project," Cox said.

For Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council, the session will also be a chance to share the latest on the Ngongotahā Flood Review Project after last month's scheduled update had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Project manager Elva Conroy said recently announced Crown Infrastructure Partners funding meant parts of the flood mitigation engineering works could progress sooner than anticipated, and she was keen to share the details of that good news with the community.

The evening will see representatives from Rotorua Lakes Council, Waka Kotahi and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council present information on their projects, followed by an opportunity for people to ask questions and find out more.

The public information session will be held at the Ngongotahā Bowling Club, 11 Domain Avenue, on September 23 between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Advertisement

To learn more about the proposed options for safety improvements in the Ngongotahā village and to provide feedback, go to www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/letstalk.

You can also email feedback to info@rotorualc.nz or provide it over the phone by calling 07 348 4199.

If you have any questions or want to subscribe to the SH5 Tarukenga to Ngongotahā safety and SH5/SH36 roundabout improvements project newsletter email the connectrotorua@nzta.govt.nz inbox.

For more information on the Ngongotahā Flood Mitigation Plan, visit https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/floodreview or contact the letstalk@rotorualc.nz email address.

Supplied copy