A decision to allocate $14million to ease congestion at the Ngongotaha roundabout has drawn relief from Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick.
Regional economic development minister Shane Jones confirmed the announcement today as part of a $300m package to ease bottlenecks in seven areas of the country.
The congestion at Ngongotaha has been a nettlesome issue for the Rotorua Lakes Council for many years, with traffic in several directions banked for up to a kilometre a time in peak hours in that time.
Traffic to and from the village - with streams from Tauranga, and west on the main highway between Rotorua and Hamilton have been a constant concern for many years.
Easements, including traffic lights on the main highway entry from Hamilton, had had some effect in staggering traffic, which continues to build as the city’s population increases.
Steve Chadwick says the announcement is “great news for Rotorua and in particular for our Ngongotaha community”.
“We’ve all been calling for improvements to this key intersection for some time now to alleviate congestion and I look forward to seeing the detail and timing for this project.
“Good roads are a key component of enabling housing development to progress and we are advocating for this as part of the work underway on solutions to address Rotorua’s critical housing shortage.
“That includes advocating for further investment in Te Ngae Road, beyond the work that is now underway between Sala and Iles Road, to help enable development in this part of our city,” says Steve.
The decision caps a week of solid news for Rotorua, following Housing Minister Megan Woods’ confirmation that the Government is committed to investing in “collaborative, locally-designed housing solutions for Rotorua in recognition of the critical issue we face.”
The road work programme includes standard safety improvements along 8.1km of State Highway 5 as part of the New Zealand Upgrade programme.
“I spend a lot of time in the regions and one bugbear I consistently hear about is roads,” says Shane Jones.
“Officials from the Provincial Development Unit and e New Zealand Transport Agency have worked together to identify which roading improvements are ready to go but required funding.”