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Green Light For Major Roading Project

Transfund New Zealand today announced that it has given funding approval for the construction of a new 4-lane expressway in Tauranga, known as Route J.

The Transit New Zealand project, valued at $46 million, will be built over four years and will provide a much needed bypass for State Highway 2, which is currently routed along Waihi Road. The rapid growth in Tauranga City and suburbs has resulted in increasing traffic congestion along this route, particularly from the north.

Route J will ease this congestion by bypassing Waihi Road and connecting to the Waikaraeo Expressway and Cameron Road. The project consists of a 4-lane expressway, 2.8 km long, linking Waihi Road near the urban boundary to the west end of Fifteenth Avenue in Tauranga City. It also includes an interchange with Route K -- the 6.5 km expressway to be built by Tauranga District Council.

Expenditure on the project during 1999/2000 is expected to be $10 million. Announcing the funding approval, Transfund Chief Executive Martin Gummer said that the money was in addition to the $52.72 million already announced last month for expenditure on road construction and maintenance in the Bay of Plenty region during 1999/2000.

"Route J will clearly bring significant benefits to road users in and around Tauranga. The project evaluation confirmed a benefit/cost ratio (BCR) of 4.4 for the project, comfortably over the minimum BCR of 4.0 required to qualify for funding."

Mr Gummer said that approval of funding is conditional upon the inclusion of risk management strategies in the project plan. "This will become a common requirement for projects of this size and is designed to manage the risks associated with costly factors such as ground settlement and wet weather delays."



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