Funding has been approved to investigate options for upgrading one of Tauranga's busiest intersections, which could involve further tolling of motorists.
The Transport Agency will spend $1.2 million on a study of the congestion, traffic flow and safety of the Girven Rd roundabout on State Highway 2 near Mt Maunganui.
The 15-month investigation will consider a signallised roundabout and a two- or four lane flyover. It will also look at ways of accelerating the construction of whichever option is preferred.
More than 35,000 vehicles use the intersection each day, including more than 2000 trucks.
Tolling has already been confirmed to fund the early construction of Tauranga's eastern motorway, even though the council-owned Route K toll road has lost money since 2003 because of underuse.