Lower Hutt’s $100m road to nowhere

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE -

A road link­ing Seav­iew with State High­way Two has been talked about since the 1960s, with no re­sult. re­ports why the Kaiko¯ura Earthquake has given its back­ers fresh hope.

The Cross Val­ley Link pro­posal has a long his­tory.’’ That’s how a Hutt City Coun­cil re­port summed up the project in May 1992. It first ap­peared in the District Plan in 1964 and in the years since, has come and gone from var­i­ous re­gional and city coun­cil plans.

On pa­per, the idea of a new road tak­ing traf­fic from Seav­iew to SH2 seems a good one.

Seav­iew is one of the largest in­dus­trial ar­eas in the re­gion and is home to many of New Zealand’s largest sci­ence com­pa­nies.

Throw in 30,000 cars a day from Wainuiomata, East­bourne and Mo­era, and the re­sult is of­ten grid­lock on the Pe­tone Es­planade.

No one knows what it will cost to build a new road that could re­quire the pur­chase of ex­ten­sive prop­erty, in­clud­ing res­i­den­tial homes.

In re­cent years the fig­ure of $100 mil­lion has been used but un­til de­tailed de­signs are done and a route agreed upon, that is only a guess.

The city coun­cil is spend­ing $1 mil­lion to in­ves­ti­gate its fea­si­bil­ity but Mayor Ray Wal­lace con­cedes that with­out sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from cen­tral gov­ern­ment, the road is un­likely to be built.

‘‘GNS is say­ing the Pe­tone Es­planade could drop by three feet or more in ama­jor earthquake.’’

That, ac­cord­ing to the mayor, is where last Novem­ber’s big shake might be a game changer.

Wal­lace has long ar­gued that the CVL is a road of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance, de­serv­ing of

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