Investigations are continuing on plans for a Tamahere village hub following feedback at last month’s public open day.
Community views on the two hub design options are divided. Nearly half (29) of the 62 responses favoured Option A – retail development located on the corner of Devine Road and the proposed link road. Sixteen responses supported Option B – retail development located central to the proposed link road and recreational area – but a further 17 responses were unsure about either option.
At its March meeting the Tamahere Community Committee (TCC) told council representatives that it supported Option B, including a community piazza integrated with the sports fields, and a sports pavilion located by the community centre.
The committee asked if the council would be willing to make an investment in the community hub by creating a central piazza around which commercial developers could purchase land under specified planning rules.
Following a council workshop today, the issues and options will be presented to the council’s strategy and finance committee on April 20 for a decision. Click the following link to view the two options (pdf): Tamahere Village Options A & B
Waikato Expressway update
Investigation and design of the Tamahere section of the Waikato Expressway, projected to start in 2013, is underway by NZ Transport Agency. The Tamahere section is the stretch of road from the SH1/Airport Rd Interchange to Cambridge.
NZTA told the TCC that it hopes to accelerate the design of the Tamahere section so construction can coincide with the Cambridge section and be finished in 2015.
Also of interest to Tamahere is its connection to Hamilton, which NZTA includes in its Hamilton section expressway plans. Resource consent hearings for the Hamilton section are expected to take place in 2013, with work projected to start in 2015, finishing in 2019.
NZTA representatives told the TCC that projected traffic flows through the Hamilton southern interchange, sited at Cherry Lane, was expected to be significantly greater than originally forecast.
As a result, NZTA will investigate a range of new design options, which will be displayed at an open day within the next few months. Click the following link for NZTA’s presentation to the TCC (pdf): NZTA expressway presentation March 11
TCC discussion and feedback to NZTA included:
- On and off ramps for both directions be included at the Morrinsville/Ruakura interchange so southbound traffic off SH26 can turn directly onto Expressway rather than clogging up the Hillcrest roundabout.
- Traffic movement into Hillcrest will increase approx 30% by 2041, with the expressway built, but there seems to be no solution to address traffic problems through the area. Real concern that Hillcrest traffic will back up on to the expressway with increased traffic flows.
- The Southern Links project should happen at the same time as the expressway is built to alleviate congestion into Hillcrest. The project, under study now, is to provide a network of well-connected state highway and urban arterial routes linking State Highway 1 from Kahikatea Drive to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere, and State Highway 3 from the airport to central and east Hamilton. It is not expected to be in place for around 25 years.
- It is important for community connectivity to be maintained for Bollard Rd/Cherry Lane Residents.
- Concern that traffic from Pickering Road will come directly down Tamahere Drive and could impact on local roundabouts, which could directly affect St Stephen’s Church if more land for roads is required. Combined with the Titoki Sands proposal the impact could be significant.
The committee sought written responses to its concerns and questions.
TCC’s next meeting is on Monday, April 4.