Tongariro Street upgrade
What is changing on Tongariro Street
Construction work on Tongariro Street started in August 2021, continuing the Taupō Town Centre Transformation project.
This is a major piece of the puzzle for this project. While you currently have through-traffic moving along this four lane route, the aim of this project is to move this traffic over to Titiraupenga Street and create a much more inviting environment along Tongariro Street.
You will see a reduction to two lanes on Tongariro Street and a slower speed zone in this area, along with important improvements for pedestrians and cyclists – including pedestrian islands and a cycle lane running adjacent to the Domain.
There will also be better linkages between the CBD, Tongariro Domain and Lake Terrace along with additional outdoor dining spaces.
While we have included important pedestrian and cycling improvements, we are also substantially increasing the number of car parks to ensure we are continuing to cater to a variety of modes of transport.
December 17, 2021: Summer dining on Tongariro Street
The fences and road cones are gone, and with the first stage of the Taupō Town Centre Transformation work on Tongariro Street finished, local businesses are already embracing the new layout. Victoria’s Café, the Crafty Trout Brewery, and Lotus Thai Restaurant are making the most of the new widened footpaths with a shared space – tentatively titled The Junction – that is ready now for some al fresco summer dining.
Council’s landscape architect Fraser Scott says it’s great to see businesses putting their stamp on the newly-constructed streetscapes.
“This is what the transformation project is all about, with the emphasis moving away from cars and back to people, and businesses bringing colour and life to our streets.”
Victoria Taylor of Victoria’s Café says her husband Grant Yates came up with The Junction name and all three businesses would be working on the details in the coming weeks.
“We’re keen to create a kind of mini version of Rotorua’s Eat Street,” Victoria said, “and between us we have a really nice mix on offer. We’re all loving that we have some extra space on the street and in the sun. We’ll be kicking it off with cocktails and tapas on New Year’s Eve.”
Crafty Trout Brewery owner Rebecca Draper-Kidd was also loving the widened footpaths.
“The extra space is great,” she said, “it’s going to be a lovely place to be in summer and we’ll be opening up from midday and serving into the evening. But it also means we are a lot more visible and that will be great.”
Noi Upathep of Lotus Thai Restaurant says it’s good to have extra space outside and the new area looks more attractive too. He expects the new buildouts will bring extra vibrancy to the northern end of Tongariro Street.
December 16, 2021: Temporary roundabout on the way
A temporary roundabout will be installed at the Tongariro and te Heuheu streets intersection on Sunday night to help alleviate traffic flow through the CBD over the busy summer period. It will replace the existing traffic lights which will be decommissioned, with new pedestrian refuges to be installed at the same time. The temporary roundabout will be replaced with a permanent one early next year as part of the Taupō Town Centre Transformation project.
While construction work is still taking place along Tītīraupenga Street and because we are expecting this summer to be particularly busy, we are taking the opportunity to install the temporary roundabout next week. The roundabout will help traffic to flow more smoothly, but given the number of visitors we are expecting we are asking drivers to please be patient as you get used to the new layout. If you are simply travelling past the CBD, then please consider going via Spa Road into Tītīraupenga Street.
The western side of Tongariro Street will be reduced to a single lane as it nears the intersection, down from the current two lanes, and the speed limit will be reduced to 30km/h. Contractors will be closing the intersection from 6pm on Sunday, with the new road layout open to traffic in the early morning on Monday 20 December.
November 26: Overnight resealing on Tongariro Street
It’s been a very busy few weeks on Tongariro Street, and it will be even busier next week. The safety barriers are being removed, the cobbles are going down, and we'll soon be opening up the street again, but the big news is a brand new seal is being laid on Tongariro Street from Spa Road to te Heuheu Street.
We will also be line marking the street, and to minimise disruption this work will be carried out overnight from Sunday, 28 November through to Thursday, 2 December. To help the team out we are asking everyone to please remove their cars from that part of Tongariro Street no later than 5pm daily from Sunday to Thursday, ahead of reseal work getting underway each evening. Note the road will remain open during the day and will only be closed overnight during this period.
Immediately following this we will be making alterations to the Spa Road roundabout line markings. The new road markings will make the roundabout more readable for those turning into the new Tongariro Street layout and there will also be a subtle change to the shape of the roundabout to better guide people into and out of the revised Tongariro Street. The current shape of the roundabout and lane marking means that people are often too far to the right when entering the roundabout from Spa Road; the revised layout will act as a better guide for drivers, whether they are turning left into Tongariro Street or right to head north, and it will also better guide drivers travelling south from Control Gates.
Following that, there will just be some tidying up work to be done along the street and some more planting and mulching, and then the first part of our Taupō Town Centre Transformation project will be ready just in time for summer!
November 19, 2021: Tongariro Street work continues under COVID precautions
It’s still full steam ahead on Tongariro Street, with our contractors masking up and observing COVID precautions to make sure work continues. At the northern end, street furniture, guard rails and cobble stones are being installed, build outs completed, and the centre islands are taking shape along the length of Tongariro Street.
To prepare Tongariro Street for resealing later in the month, we will be repairing the subsurface of the road starting from the northern end at the Spa Road roundabout. This will mean that the south-bound lane will be closed intermittently over the coming week, so please follow all directions from the team and as usual, please drive safely around the work sites.
October 14, 2021: Tongariro Street update
We have a big few weeks ahead of us to try and knock out the majority of the works on Tongariro Street, between Spa Road and Tamamutu Street. Our goal is to get in and get out as quickly as we can. This means there will be a fair amount of disruption with road and lane closures as well as heavy machinery onsite.
We will be working on everything from stormwater pipes, the connection to the Acacia Bay water supply as well as the kerbing and centre islands, much like the work that has been completed further down Tongariro Street. To allow this work to happen, there will be a southbound lane closure on Tongariro Street, from Spa Road through to Tamamutu Street for the next two weeks, weather permitting. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.
September 17, 2021: Town Centre Transformation taking shape on Tongariro
Despite less than great weather, we’re still making good progress on the town centre transformation with work going well on Tongariro Street between Tamamutu Street and Horomātangi Street. Our contractor is almost done with the underground stormwater infrastructure in this roadway section, and once completed we’ll be moving on to the more visible, above-ground work on the street itself.
Weather permitting, our contractors will begin forming the kerbs for the new centre median, and creating the new kerbs containing the built-out sections of footpath in front of the shops.
Project manager Travis Delich said there will be some disruption to parking and traffic flows, and to ensure a safe working space for contractors, southbound traffic will be temporarily diverted down Tamamutu Street.
“Our team will be working as quickly as possible to get this section of work done,” Mr Delich said, “so please drive safe and follow the guidance of our traffic management team.
“Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times however, so come on down to support our local businesses and see how things are taking shape!”
July 26, 2021: Construction work ramps up on Taupō Town Centre Transformation project
The first phase of work on Tongariro Street starts on 2 August with the removal of the current centre traffic island south of Spa Road roundabout to te Heuheu Street. It will then be concentrated between the Tamamutu Street and te Heuheu Street intersections, before moving onto the next ‘block’. This phase is expected to be underway through until the end of November, weather permitting.
Camex Civil is delivering this phase of the project and will be working to minimise disruption as much as possible. However, to allow construction to take place, Tongariro Street will be reduced to one lane north and south, from Spa Road to te Heuheu Street as part of this first block of construction work. There will also be restricted access into, and out of, Tamamutu Street from Tongariro Street. Throughout construction, there will be some further road closures, which will be clearly sign-posted when they occur.
Bus stops normally on upper Tongariro Street will be temporarily relocated to Paora Hapi Street, in front of the old St Johns building from 31 July through until the end of construction.