Locals in the way of link road plan
A green dotted line on a map is giving Gaylene Lines sleepless nights.
The Bartlett Grove, Tawa, resident is one of dozens of people who could be affected by a NZ Transport Agency proposal to build a road connecting Petone and Grenada.
The agency has come up with two options — construct the road through Takapu Valley or widen the existing State Highway 1 next to Tawa.
If the latter is confirmed, about 40 homes, along with small parcels of land belonging to Tawa Intermediate and Tawa College, will be affected. The motorway will move about 15 metres nearer housing than where it is now.
Ms Lines said she was shocked to be told of the agency’s proposals at a Rotary meeting.
She said she had learnt more from the media (than the agency) about the link road and who might be affected, and found that appalling.
Only in the last week has she received substantive information from NZ Transport Agency.
‘‘I was told that an attempt was made to contact me in January, but no message was left, and something about not having my address,’’ she said.
‘‘If you have my phone number, you have my name, surely? I’m really annoyed. This is lifechanging stuff.’’
Bartlett Grove runs alongside SH1, but Ms Lines said she hardly noticed the noise any more. She has been in her home, for which her father and father-in-law laid the foundations, for 42 years.
She has recently upgraded it and said it was much more than walls and a roof to her, having raised three children there.
‘‘When we first came here it was railway land and there was just farmland and so much room. My family built it from nothing and now it’s going to be taken.
‘‘That first night when I got this map [ showing the extended motorway going through her property] I didn’t sleep at all. I kept thinking about my home being split in half.’’
She said she did not want to get in the way of progress, but was concerned about being adequately compensated.
NZ Transport Agency principal project manager Selwyn Blackmore said the process of contacting people had been ‘‘generally successful’’, but Ms Lines could not be reached.
‘‘We are committed to meeting with all property owners to ensure they have a sound understanding of the proposals, their rights as landowners and how they can give feedback,’’ he said.
Mr Blackmore said the PetoneGrenada link investigation had come from a need to respond to the future traffic growth of traffic on SH1 and to take pressure off SH58 as a principal route between SH1 and the Hutt Valley.
An improved link road would reduce journeys and be more fuelefficient, he said.
Through the Public Works Act, Ms Lines would be entitled to valuation, legal and other professional costs as part of the nego- tiation process.
A decision will be made by the end of this year, with consents lodged in 2015.
Negotiations for the purchase of land would take place in 2017 and construction would begin in 2019. The link road could be tolled. Ms Lines said a Tawa-based group has been formed to ‘‘stop the widening’’ and she planned to contact her MP, Peter Dunne.
Annoyed: Gaylene Lines’ home stands smack in the middle of a proposed motorway widening project.