Wor­ries over traf­fic chaos at Gully link road


Trans­mis­sion Gully is set to bring even more traf­fic into a Porirua choke point, business own­ers warn.

The fu­ture of Kenepuru Drive and the ef­fect of a ramp link­ing it to the new mo­tor­way was dis­cussed in a meet­ing be­tween the business com­mu­nity, Porirua City Coun­cil and NZ Trans­port Agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives last week.

Some warned the vol­ume of traf­fic on the nar­row road was al­ready dan­ger­ous and the ramp would in­crease it, as mo­torists from Tawa and western Porirua used Kenepuru to ac­cess the new mo­tor­way.

‘‘We take our lives in our hands every night when we’re turn­ing out,’’ one owner said.

But NZTA project man­ager Craig Ni­chol­son said the ramp, known as the Kenepuru Link Road, would make lit­tle dif­fer­ence to the num­ber of mo­torists us­ing the road.

Modelling showed traf­fic would de­crease on Kenepuru Drive, he said. Kenepuru Drive pro­vides ac­cess to Kenepuru Hos­pi­tal, Bishop Viard Col­lege and a planned 1000-home devel­op­ment.

While south­bound driv­ers on Trans­mis­sion Gully could use the ramp to get to Kenepuru Drive, Ni­chol­son said those want­ing to travel from Welling­ton to Kenepuru could use the ex­ist­ing State High­way 1, or an in­ter­change near Whitby.

Work has started on the ramp, which will exit Kenepuru Drive, swoop over the rail­way line and cur­rent State High­way 1, be­fore an in­ter­change links it with Trans­mis­sion Gully.

An ini­tial plan to pro­vide a full in­ter­change with ac­cess to and from Kenepuru was aban­doned af­ter a safety au­dit found a north­bound off-ramp was a se­ri­ous con­cern.

Porirua City Coun­cil chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Tam­sin Evans said Trans­mis­sion Gully would have a huge im­pact on the city, and the coun­cil was tak­ing a ‘‘net­work-based ap­proach’’ to keep traf­fic flow­ing.

Modelling showed a de­crease in Kenepuru Drive traf­fic, but it was im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict what would hap­pen in 2020 when Trans­mis­sion Gully opened, she said.

One business owner said Kenepuru traf­fic was get­ting worse, and noth­ing she had heard at the meet­ing al­le­vi­ated her con­cerns.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be a night­mare; it is now. The fu­ture doesn’t look very good for Kenepuru Drive right now.’’

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