The Post

Traffic fix for Basin hits a snag

- Damian George

The preferred option to fix traffic congestion at Wellington’s Basin Reserve has been revealed but a government snub has put a snag in the plans.

A $6.4 billion plan to revamp Wellington’s transport network was revealed by the Government in May, and included a $190 million proposal for separating local and state highway traffic at the Basin.

But the proposal was light on detail, leaving observers unclear as to how the redesign would actually work.

A few days ago, the Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) group published a number of documents from its planning workshops held last year, including its preferred design for the Basin chokepoint on State Highway 1.

The plan, tabled in October, includes extending Sussex St on the western side of the cricket ground further north to connect with Barker St, a dead-end street which runs off Cambridge Terrace.

It would become two-way and be used by local traffic, connecting with Adelaide Rd via Rugby St to the south, and Dufferin St to the east.

There would be one-way access onto the street for westbound state highway traffic exiting the Mt Victoria tunnel.

However, that traffic could also turn right onto a reconfigur­ed state highway, passing the Basin to the north and entering an extended Arras Tunnel from Buckle St.

The tunnel would run under the new section of Sussex St.

The plan also included a tunnel for eastbound state highway traffic, taking it off Vivian St and Kent Terrace.

But that hinged on SH1 being reconfigur­ed into a tunnel under Te Aro, and that proposal was rejected in the Government’s indicative package, along with a second Terrace tunnel.

An LGWM spokesman said the concept was developed at a ‘‘high level’’ as part of its recommende­d programme.

‘‘It won’t be this exact concept, because State Highway 1 eastbound will stay on Vivian Street. We will need to test the concept to make sure it works as part of the indicative package.’’

The final design would depend on an eventual mass transit route past the Basin, as well as community feedback, the spokesman said.

An eastbound tunnel was not included in the $190m price tag.

The design was developed during a LGWM workshop last year.

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