Wairoa Cycleway – final section underway
Cyclists cross and ride under the Wairoa Bridge to climb the other side of State Highway 2. Photo / Provided.
Construction work for the final 800m of the Ōmokoroa to Tauranga cycle path will begin before the end of March
Beginning in mid-2023, cyclists will be able to cross the Wairoa River and safely continue their journey between Ōmokoroa and Tauranga without the risk of sharing that stretch of road with trucks and cars.
The completion of this bike lane will improve the safety of cyclists in the short and medium term until the Takitimu North Link is completed. At that time, this busy section of SH2 will become a local road, opening up options not available on the State Highway network as well as an alternative option along the Takitimu North Link.
Speed will also be reduced to 50 km/h on this section of the State Highway, helping to ensure a safer ride for cyclists, residents and motorists.
Construction of the Wairoa Cycle Path (Bethlehem side of the bridge) will complete the 12 miles Bike path from Ōmokoroa to Tauranga – which forms part of the famous tourist trail from Waihī to Maketu.
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The cycle path began as part of the Project Urban Cycleways Program – jointly funded by Central Government, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council with additional contributions from NZ Community Trust, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and Ōmokoroa Community Board.
Tauranga City Council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have been working together to keep cyclists safe along this busy stretch of SH2 since the completion of the Clip-On in May 2020.
what will it mean for me
A cyclist’s perspective
If cycling from Ōmokoroa to Bethlehem, cross the bridge on the existing bike path (currently ending on the Bethlehem side).
At the end of the bridge, follow the bike path under the bridge and cycle up the other side. This brings you to the widest part of this section of SH2.
From here you will cycle to Taniwha Place where there is an intersection set back from the junction to allow a clear view between oncoming vehicles and cyclists.
You will cross Taniwha Place and continue to the top of the hill.
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There is a new signalized junction at the top of the hill that allows you to safely cross SH2 to Carmichael Road.
From Carmichael Road, you can access the city’s urban cycle path network via the Gordon Carmichael Reserve.
A resident’s perspective of Taniwha Place
When entering or exiting Taniwha Place, cyclists must give way to vehicles when they are at the intersection.
A designated turning bay is available on SH2 for drivers turning right onto Taniwha Place. Cyclists swerve to avoid a traffic jam behind you.
There is space in front of the intersection to allow a car to wait when turning left onto Taniwha Place.
A driver’s perspective
If you are driving from Bethlehem to Te Puna (North) there is a new signalized junction on SH2 at Carmichael Road. This is between the roundabout (where the Gull and Z gas stations are) and just before you head down the hill to the bridge.
The signaled crossing is triggered by cyclists who want to cross the road. The crossing time is about 20 seconds.
With heavy commuter traffic (either way), the delay is minimal as traffic is already moving at a slow pace.
Note: The more people cycle, the fewer cars need to be on the road.
For more information visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/wairoacycleway