Lo­cals in the way of link road plan

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

An­noyed: Gay­lene Lines’ home stands smack in the mid­dle of a pro­posed mo­tor­way widen­ing project.

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