For Hairini Bridge

This is the per­fect place to trial some­thing like this in Tau­ranga.

Bay of Plenty Times - - Local News -

fin­ish in 2020. There were also re­source con­sent ob­sta­cles, es­pe­cially to ex­tend the third lane up Tur­ret Rd towards 15th Ave, a sen­si­tive stretch of road with houses on one side and beloved po­hutukawa trees on the other.

Parkes said there would be no point adding an­other lane to the bridge if it could not be con­tin­ued up Tur­ret Rd.

The coun­cil al­ready had plans in place to widen 15th Ave, due to start in Fe­bru­ary.

Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Net­work Bay of Plenty re­gional man­ager Glen Crowther said a third lane could be “a real game-changer” for con­ges­tion.

It was a cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion in the short term, but may also work well into the long-term, given the con­ges­tion went only one way in the morn­ing and the other way in the evening.

“This is the per­fect place to trial some­thing like this in Tau­ranga.”

Com­muters re­ceived the news with cau­tious op­ti­mism. Wel­come Bay real es­tate agent Tammy Fran­cis said she drove over the bridge ev­ery day about 8.15am on the school run.

The Maun­gat­apu un­der­pass had made a dif­fer­ence but gen­er­ally it was “chocker”. A third lane would be “great” but she said the wait would be painful if it was years away.

Two self-em­ployed men, Josh Cole from Poike and Bruce Buchan­nan from Hairini, ar­ranged their days to avoid the bridge dur­ing rush hours.

Cole said a third lane was a good idea but wor­ried gains would be lost within a few years due to pop­u­la­tion growth. He wanted to see the coun­cil fo­cus on sus­tain­able pub­lic trans­port op­tions such as buses and light rail so the city did not end up like Auck­land.

Coun­cil­lor Bill Grainger said he wanted work un­der way within one or two years.

“If we can make any­thing work on that bridge as it is . . . let’s do it.”

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