Mixed response to link road plans
The best option to link Tawa and Lower Hutt is by no means settled, and NZ Transport Agency has also acknowledged that SH58 must be improved.
The consultation feedback report on the proposed link road between Petone and Grenada was released last week by the agency. More than 1400 people provided feedback on the proposals, which include a possible widening of SH1 at Tawa and a road through Takapu Valley.
Many submitters questioned the need for extra road capacity north of Tawa, saying a major interchange would create traffic headaches.
Homes, sports fields and schools would be affected if the widening proposal was favoured by the agency, many submitters noted.
The report found no clear preference for the widening of SH1 or the Takapu Valley route.
The agency’s Wellington state highways manager, Rod James, said the feedback showed the link was still broadly supported by the region.
‘‘We recognise that projects of this size have impacts . . .these local perspectives [from the public] will prove invaluable as we shape our plans,’’ he said.
Though some submitters called for SH58 to be improved to four lanes – and noted the traffic volume that was likely to increase when Transmission Gully was connected to it by 2020 – James said safety upgrades were planned for the road no matter what.
‘‘The Petone to Grenada project is not considered in isolation. Making SH58 safer is a vital part of this package [and] we are committed to investing to improve it.’’
Options included extending the wire rope barrier, lowering the speed limit and realigning the road, James said. Some work will start later this year and carry on through to 2018.
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said he was not surprised by the feedback.
‘‘The region needs a strong eastwest connection and Porirua is supportive of this route,’’ he said.
The Petone-Grenada link road is expected to cost between $ 250 million and $ 270m. A decision will be made by the agency later this year and construction could start in 2019.