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Published: 2003-12-02 00:00:00

Environment Waikato in conjunction with Transit New Zealand and Thames-Coromandel District Council is to look into a traffic management system to ease summer holiday congestion on the Kopu Bridge for Coromandel-bound traffic.

Replacing the small bridge – which is the entrance to the Coromandel Peninsula for Auckland and Waikato traffic – is held up as Transit resolves an appeal on the project. The design is included in plans for 2008/9 with construction in 2010/11.

But this week’s Regional Land Transport Committee was concerned to find an innovative solution to divert traffic from the area. Cr Jenni Vernon said the community and district council should be asked what their preferences would be.

Transit Regional Manager Colin Knaggs said if a sensible solution was found it could be looked into. The passing lane could be closed down, which would make traffic move better, but this would need to be consulted on with the community. Waikato traffic could be diverted off onto a longer route, which would take the same amount of time because of the current delays on the bridge.

Chairman David Peart said the concept was worth further investigation, although it was too late for implementing for this summer.

“This would be the time to talk to the community and put the idea into their minds to consider over the summer, and the cost should not be great. We need to talk to all the people who live there and those who use the area.”

He said many projects such as this one, and improvements to the Raglan road were not progressing up the list but were important from a community point of view.

“They will continue to fall back unless we can get the Government to provide sufficient funding for state highways. There are a whole lot of community desires not able to be done because of a shortage of funding.