Link road to split Takapu Valley
The Petone-Grenada highway appears destined to run through Takapu Valley, after most of the affected councils threw their support behind the idea.
Wellington City, Porirua and Kapiti Coast councils all want to see a two-lane link road built through the valley north of Wellington to connect the proposed fourlane Petone-Grenada highway with the Transmission Gully motorway.
NZ Transport Agency has said the link road is needed to take the pressure off State Highway 1 at Tawa, which could have an extra 9000 vehicles a day once the Gully motorway is connected to the north in 2020 and Petone-Grenada is connected to the south in 2023.
Building the link road would affect one house and a further 21 land parcels.
If it does not go ahead, the other solution is to widen SH1 at Tawa from four lanes to six, which would affect six houses and 30 land parcels.
But Wellington Regional Council is not convinced either option is needed, and has called on the agency to take a ‘‘wait and see’’ approach.
The regional council believes the forecast 19 per cent surge in congestion through to 2031 is not that significant and says it is uncertain exactly when it will materialise, if at all.
The various council opinions have been expressed by their chief executives in a report that will be debated by the regional council’s regional transport committee next week.
The committee, on which all of the Wellington region’s mayors sit, has been asked to support the Takapu link road option.
The final decision will be made by NZTA this year.
The chief executives’ report says building the Takapu link or widening SH1 at Tawa would reduce travel times south during the morning rush by 10 to 30 seconds, while travel times north would improve by 90 to 170 seconds in the evening.
The link road is expected to cost between $30 million and $60m, while widening SH1 would cost between $25m and $60m.
Stephen Mulholland, whose property would be split in two by the Takapu link road, questioned what information had been provided to the chief executives by NZTA.
He believed the link road would be more expensive, less efficient and require the demolition of more homes than the agency had claimed.
He called for the briefing papers to be made public.
Raewyn Bleakley, director of NZTA’s central region, said the organisation had been very open about the pros and cons of each option and would be releasing information from the council briefings this month.
Wrong direction: Stephen Mulholland, whose Takapu Valley farm would be split in two by the proposed link road, says it would be more expensive, less efficient and require the demolition of more homes than NZ Transport Agency has claimed.