'Baby step' taken in long-term Motueka bypass plan

Woolshed Corner on SH60 north of Motueka. River Rd is to the left and has been floated as a possible joining point of a ...

Woolshed Corner on SH60 north of Motueka. River Rd is to the left and has been floated as a possible joining point of a Motueka bypass road.

A proposed route for the Motueka bypass should be formalised to allow for future planning, the Motueka Community Board says.

The community board has recommended that a designated route be put into the Tasman District Council's 2018-2028 long term plan.

The recommendation requested that the council and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) designate Queen Victoria St, from the intersection of Wildman Rd and Hursthouse St to the Pah St intersection as a future bypass route of Motueka for State Highway 60.

Traffic on SH60 over the Motueka River to Riwaka.
BRADEN FASTIER

Traffic on SH60 over the Motueka River to Riwaka.

Presenting his report to the August 15 community meeting, Ogilvie said that the recommendation was just a "baby step" in the process, given the amount of investigation and consultation that would be involved.

READ MORE: * NZTA releases strategic case for Motueka SH60 as traffic congestion builds

"That certainly doesn't mean we're going to do a bypass straight away – it's just the initial stage of what will probably be a long term process," he said.

An aerial photograph of the mouth of the Motueka River. The Motueka Community board has passed a recommendation to ...
Martin de Ruyter

An aerial photograph of the mouth of the Motueka River. The Motueka Community board has passed a recommendation to designate possible bypass routes taking in the area near the bridge, top right, as part of Tasman district Council's long term plan.

"All I have proposed is that there be a designation just so when it comes to rezoning residential land people know that is designated as a bypass route." 

Motueka Ward councillor David Ogilvie and community board member Barry Dowler attended strategic planning meeting in July held by NZTA, where discussions about the future of SH60 looking at three sections between Richmond's Three Brothers Corner and Collingwood.

A fourth sub-section was also suggested between the roundabout at Wharf Rd and the Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Rd intersection. This stretch of road includes "chokepoints" along High street and the Motueka River bridge. 

The proposed resolution did not prescribe where SH60 would link with the designated street.

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Ogilvie said finishing at the end of Queen Victoria St allowed the opportunity for any bypass to be extended as far as the existing bridge, which he said would need to be widened.

A second possibility would take a straight line across the Motueka River to River Rd, which would involve the building of a new bridge.

In terms of distance, it was just over 2km from the end of Queen Victoria St to the Motueka River bridge, while the River Rd option would cover around 1.5km.

Ogilvie was aware of some Parker St residents concerns that any potential bypass may run near their properties. However, he said a more likely outcome would be to put a link road further north, alongside the old river stopbank.

Ogilvie said any decision-making would ultimately come down to cost, while NZTA would need to do a cost and benefit study to figure out the best long-term solution. 

At the July meeting attended by Ogilvie and Dowler, NZTA's Andrew James explained that despite the thoroughness of a 2010 study of traffic in and around Motueka, there were no formal resolutions made in addressing the issues.

In 2016 the agency completed a strategic case for SH60 through Motueka. 

It confirmed that poorly designed pedestrian crossing infrastructure was resulting in crashes and that key High Street intersections had the potential for design and layout improvements to improve journey time reliability and safety for all road users. 

An NZTA spokeswoman said that while Motueka's growth and increasing traffic problems means a bypass will be needed in future, it was not seen as a short term priority.

"The investigation into the township part of SH60 through Motueka is being done because of the recommendations from the Motueka Transportation Study which recommended a series of network management measures in advance of a Motueka bypass which may be needed in the longer term."

 

 - Stuff

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