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The $991 million NZ Upgrade Programme for Waikato and Bay of Plenty will deliver improved safety and support continued growth of the area.

Significant growth during the last decade has already been supported through a $2.1 billion investment in the Waikato Expressway.

This new package continues to build on improving transport connections where growth is expected to continue for several more decades, placing even greater pressure on the existing transport system.

Along with Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are part of the Upper North Island’s Golden Triangle, being home to more than half of New Zealand’s population. The transport corridors in these regions are critical to get goods to market and support the safe travel of a growing number of visitors and residents.

The new Tauranga Northern Link will provide an alternative route for travel in the Bay of Plenty, connecting State Highway 29 (SH29) and State Highway 2 (SH2), and helping to take pressure off Cambridge Road and the existing SH2 through Bethlehem. The priority with the new four-lane corridor will be public transport and vehicles carrying multiple people.

A separated walking and cycling path will run adjacent to the new 7km corridor, providing travel choice for residents in the area, where nearly 90% of daily commutes are by private vehicle.

In the Western Bay of Plenty, which 16,000 more people are expected to call home in the next 20 years, a new fourlane corridor will be built from Te Puna to Ōmokoroa, extending the Tauranga Northern Link to respond to growth which extends to Ōmokoroa and beyond.

This new corridor will help save lives and provide travel choice to reduce reliance on private vehicles. Public transport will be prioritised, along with vehicles carrying multiple people, and walking and cycling will be promoted with a new separated shared path.

At the SH1/SH29 intersection, a new roundabout will improve safety for those travelling between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga and be future proofed for the extension of the expressway.

Waikato and Bay of Plenty package projects