Update December 2023
Construction of the Ōmokoroa to Bethlehem cycleway is expected to be finished early to mid-December. This final piece of work involves constructing a new signalised crossing (traffic light) to complete the 19 km Ōmokoroa to Tauranga cycleway. The new crossing provides a safer path for cyclists to cross SH2 to reach a new connection to Carmichael Road that we’re constructing.
To reduce potential congestion, this work will take place at night.
Thank you for your patience.
This means cyclists will be able to cross the Wairoa River and safely continue their journey between Ōmokoroa to Tauranga without the risk of sharing this section of road with trucks and cars.
Given the immediate safety risk associated with people cycling along this section of state highway, a temporary solution has been developed that balances the needs of cyclists, state highway users and the local community.
Completion of this cycleway will address cyclist safety 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 which opens up possibilities that are not available on the State Highway network, as well as providing an alternative option along the Takitimu North Link.
This section of the cycleway is known as the Wairoa cycleway but is often referred to locally as the Ōmokoroa cycleway.
Completion of the cycleway will ensure that both commuting and recreational connections are possible between the network along the Waihī to Maketu tourist trail.
Tauranga City Council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have been working together to ensure the safety of cyclists along this busy section of SH2 since the completion of the clip-on in May 2020.
The cycleway is not always going to go under the bridge. When this stretch of highway becomes a ‘local road’ (once the Takitimu North Link is completed) an alternative solution will be investigated.
An additional cycleway is being developed to go alongside the Takitimu North Link. This will provide a different, and safe route for cyclists to get from Te Puna to the city.
This cycleway must meet design and safety standards. A Safety Audit in 2017 (undertaken by Waka Kotahi and Western Bay of Plenty District Council) approved the original cycleway design which was along the northern side of SH2.
The safety standards have now been further developed for cycleways - particularly where dual cycleways cross driveways.
These updated safety guidelines mean the cycleway now follows a new route on the southern side of the State Highway. This route allows more room for cyclists and has fewer driveway crossings.
Another benefit of this solution is that it provides a direct and safe connection to Waimarino Water and Adventure Park which is often used by school students to attend after school activities.
Wairoa two-way cycleway
Wairoa two-way cycleway (611kb pdf)
SH2 speed limit changes
In late 2019, Waka Kotahi consulted on safer speeds between Katikati and Tauranga and put in place new speed limits in 2020.
A new lower speed limit of 50km/h was proposed between the Wairoa River bridge and Bethlehem based on the development of a new cycleway. Now that the cycleway has moved forward to construction, the new speed limit will be put in place when it’s finished.
The speed limit changes are:
Existing speed limit
Proposed new speed limit
|Te Puna to eastern side of Wairoa Bridge
|Eastern side of Wairoa Bridge to Carmichael Road
||90km/h and 50km/h
Construction of the Wairoa cycleway (Bethlehem side of the bridge) will complete the 19km Ōmokoroa to Tauranga cycleway - which makes up part of the iconic Waihī to Maketu tourist trail.
The cycleway began as part of the Urban Cycleways Programme project - jointly funded by central government, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council with additional contributions from the NZ Community Trust, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and the Ōmokoroa Community Board.
The route of the cycleway is made up of both new and existing off-road shared paths and local road connections providing a link between Ōmokoroa and Tauranga City's existing urban cycleway network.
Map of the Tauranga cycle network (226kb pdf)
The cycleway enables access to communities, schools, parks and reserves, and the Tauranga Harbour as well as higher density rural development areas planned under the sub-region's SmartGrowth partnership.
The development of this northern city route will also provide an alternative transport choice to the busy SH2 corridor that connects Ōmokoroa to Tauranga City.
The cycleway is expected to attract 130-200 commuter cyclists a day, with a higher estimate for recreational users.