Pol­lies’ lane prom­ise al­ready ap­proved

Rotorua Review - - FRONT PAGE - BENN BATHGATE

Election can­di­dates’ prom­ises to four-lane Te Ngae Rd look to be push­ing at an open door as the New Zealand Trans­port Agency has al­ready com­mit­ted to some of the ex­pan­sion.

At last week’s Ro­torua Cham­ber of Com­merce can­di­dates de­bate, Ro­torua Na­tional MP Todd McClay, Labour can­di­date Ben Sand­ford and NZ First Ro­torua List MP Fletcher Tabuteau all made fourlan­ing the road a pri­or­ity when asked what they would do to sup­port eco­nomic growth in Ro­torua.

‘‘I will de­liver four lanes for Te Ngae Rd,’’ said McClay.

‘‘It is a bot­tle­neck. There is ca­pac­ity on that road but I’m not sure for how long.’’

Sand­ford also backed the fourlane so­lu­tion, ‘‘and it will hap­pen un­der Labour be­cause our fund­ing model al­lows it to hap­pen’’.

Tabuteau al­luded to cur­rent NZTA plans say­ing the road ‘‘needs $100 mil­lion now’’.

‘‘If we do $30 mil­lion now, then plus, then plus, we’ll be sit­ting in road­works.’’

NZTA principal trans­port plan­ner Mark Hase­ley con­firmed plans in the pipe­line for the ex­pan­sion as part of a $24 mil­lion road­ing spend.

‘‘The im­me­di­ate pri­or­i­ties for Te Ngae Rd were an­nounced ear­lier this year,’’ he said.

‘‘The rec­om­mended op­tion in­volves widen­ing Te Ngae Rd to four lanes from Tarawera Rd to Iles Rd and putting in a solid me­dian safety bar­rier.’’

Hase­ley said cy­cling and walk­ing con­nec­tions would be added, with more de­tail on the plans to be re­leased later this year.

He also said fur­ther fourlan­ing re­mained on the ta­ble.

‘‘The Trans­port Agency is closely mon­i­tor­ing the traf­fic growth trends in Ro­torua. If the growth con­tin­ues at its cur­rent rate up­grad­ing to four-lanes along Te Ngae Road be­tween Iles Road and the Ro­torua Air­port may be needed,’’ he said.

Ro­torua Mayor Steve Chad­wick backed the four-lane plan, but said more needs to be done.

’’We’ve al­ways said we need more in­vest­ment and mod­el­ling NZTA has done in­di­cates fourlan­ing to the air­port needs to be in place by about 2022.’’

READ MORE PAGE 4.

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