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The Whakatāne District Council has recommended that people travelling into the town’s central business district during the peak morning commute period consider taking alternative routes during the traffic flow trial at the Landing Road bridge roundabout.

The joint Council/NZ Transport Agency trial beganb on Monday and sees the roundabout temporarily reconfigured so that only traffic entering from the west, across the Whakatāne River bridge, is able to turn onto Landing Road. Its aim is to evaluate the effect that rightofway access through the roundabout has on the existing congestion issues at The Hub during peak commute times.

If successful, the reconfiguration of the roundabout will be repeated during next year’s threemonth closure of the Peketahi Bridge on SH2 (from midFebruary until midMay), which will see an additional 2000 vehicles a day rerouted through Whakatāne, adding to the
congestion problem.

Council Transportation Manager Martin Taylor says the traffic flow trial is scheduled to end on Friday, 21 October, ahead of the Labour Day holiday weekend. “We anticipate that the trial may cause some issues during the first week, as people adapt their normal travel habits,” he says.

“We’ll be monitoring the situation very closely, both on the ground and via CCTV coverage at the bridge roundabout and at the twin roundabouts at the Eivers Road/King Street/Domain Road intersection. If it becomes clear that the trial is creating more problems than it is solving, and that those problems can’t be resolved, we can quickly bring it to an end and reinstate the normal roundabout configuration at the bridge.”

Mr Taylor suggests that CBDbound traffic on Landing Road use Eivers Road and Peace Street, to avoid potential delays getting through the Eivers Road/King Street/Domain Road twin roundabouts. Motorists travelling from Hinemoa Street and citysouth
areas are advised to divert through one of the link roads leading to the Valley Road/Commerce Street access route, or to travel via Victoria Avenue (or James Street), King Street and Domain Road.

Signage will be installed advising of the changed traffic layout at the bridge roundabout, with potential detour routes also clearly marked. Electronic signboards will also be placed at the northern end of Hinemoa Street and the western end of Landing Road from Tuesday next week, warning drivers about the roundabout reconfiguration, and will remain in place until 19 September.


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