Pollies’ lane promise already approved
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.’’
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