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Project overview

Updated: 18 June 2013

Information on the next steps in building the Basin Bridge and some background on the project.

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Paterson St looking east to the Mt Victoria tunnel.

Paterson St looking east to the Mt Victoria tunnel.

Building on agreed strategies and plans

The Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan

The need for transportation improvements around the Basin Reserve has long being recognised, and there have been a number of investigations undertaken at various times over the past 50 years. A common theme in all of these investigations has been the need to grade separate north-south flows from east-west traffic flows at the Basin Reserve.

This approach was formalised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and NZTA in the 2008 Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan (external link), which was informed by the Ngauranga to Airport Strategy Study (external link).

The Plan forms part of the Wellington Regional Land Transport Strategy 2010-40 (external link) and aims to strengthen the four key transport elements within the City:

  • A high quality and frequency passenger transport ‘spine’
  • Highly accessible and attractive ‘activity’ or shopping streets
  • A reliable and accessible ‘ring’ or bypass route for vehicles, and
  • Interconnected and convenient local street, walking, cycling and passenger transport networks.

The Corridor Plan proposes that NZTA lead the design and construction of improvements at the Basin Reserve (in conjunction with WCC and GWRC). This work will improve passenger transport and walking and cycling by separating north-south flows from east-west traffic, and implement complementary bus priority measures. Measures of success will include:

  • More passengers carried
  • Reduced congestion
  • Improved passenger transport journey times and reliability, and
  • Reduced crash rates.

Other key documents

The T2T improvements also form part of the Wellington Northern Corridor portion of the Roads of National Significance, and the future vision for Wellington city in the area around the Basin Reserve is discussed in the following documents.

WCC Urban Development Strategy 2006

Wellington City Council plans to develop a growth spine from Johnsonville through the central area to Adelaide Road and finally Kilbirnie. Growth would be focused and encouraged at these centres. Mixed land-use would encourage people to live, work and shop in the same area. The growth nodes would be linked together by a high quality passenger transport spine.

It was envisaged that passenger transport would be given priority through this corridor. A high quality public transport route would provide reliable, fast and frequent service. Such a service is expected to make passenger transport more attractive as an alternative to a car. Over time the passenger transport spine may be upgraded to operate in its own right-of-way separated from general traffic.

The Basin Reserve project needs to enable enhancement of the passenger transport spine as well as State Highway 1. The Basin Reserve itself occupies a pivotal position along the growth spine and encouragement of growth in and around this area is of strategic significance in achieving the growth objectives.

Also vital are: improved road connections; safe movements for pedestrians and cyclists around the Basin Reserve; access to passenger transport; and providing environmental benefits in reducing energy use and air pollution.

Read more about the growth nodes and the passenger transport spine in the Wellington City Council's Urban Development Strategy document (external link).

Adelaide Road Growth Framework

Wellington City Council's Adelaide Road Framework (the framework) provides a long-term vision for the future development of the Adelaide Road area as part of Wellington's growth spine. The framework covers the Adelaide Road area as well as its links with neighbouring land uses including Wellington Hospital, Massey University, the Basin Reserve and SH1.

The long-term vision for Adelaide Road set out in the framework is: "A high quality mixed-use area that is a more vibrant, attractive, better connected, accessible and safer place which meets the needs of all people living in, working in and using the area".

High density residential and employment accommodation will make it easier for people to live and work in the same area. Those living around Adelaide Road will be able to walk to the CBD. They may also use high quality passenger transport services to travel between the growth nodes at Kilbirnie, the CBD and Johnsonville.

Read more about the Adelaide Road Growth Node (external link).

Inquiry by Design Workshop 2008

NZTA organised a three-day Inquiry by Design Workshop. The workshop was attended by technical staff representing NZTA, WCC and GWRC. Various technical disciplines were represented including urban designers, engineers, planners and heritage advisors.

The independently facilitated workshop was designed to scope potential improvement options for the Basin Reserve and to arrive at well-debated options that could be taken to the next phases of this project. The workshop was considered a robust way to challenge assumptions. Much of the focus of the inquiry was the spatial and contextual integration of potential options within the city fabric.

By the end of the workshop the group achieved consensus on five scenarios to progress to a more detailed assessment. These five options were the basis for the work and option development.

Key objectives

The Basin Bridge will contribute to the overall goals of T2T (and, in turn, to the wider Ngauranga to Airport Plan) by:

  • Improving State Highway 1’s performance between Paterson and Taranaki Streets by improving travel times, relieving congestion and improving safety for all types of travel at the Basin Reserve
  • Supporting regional economic growth and productivity through more efficient movement of people and freight through Wellington City and better access to the CBD, employment centres, airport and hospital
  • Providing the right infrastructure for a wider range of transport choices for Wellington’s future, including public transport, cycling and walking
  • Improving the efficiency of Wellington’s road transport network by separating State highway through traffic from local traffic around the Basin Reserve

What are the next steps?

We have now completed the necessary RMA documentation and have lodged our applications with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) this week (18 June 2013). To help us prepare these applications we engaged with affected parties and the councils prior to lodging our applications with the EPA.

The T2T improvements will be the first part of the Ngauranga to Airport projects to be completed.┬áThis will help ease SH1 traffic and help achieve WCC’s plans for a high-quality public transport spine.

The rest of the Tunnel to Airport improvements, including a second Mt Victoria Tunnel and the Ruahine Street and Wellington Road widening projects are scheduled to happen after the Kapiti and Transmission Gully sections of the Wellington Northern Corridor RoNS programme are complete.

Timeline

Time Activity
2006 to 2008 GWRC, WCC and the NZTA undertake the Ngauranga to Airport Strategy and consult on various transport packages.
2008 GWRC consults on, then adopts, the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan. The Plan describes a package of multi-modal transport improvements, including the need for grade separation the Basin Reserve.
2009 The government announces the RoNS programme, which includes all of the SH1 projects identified in the Corridor Plan. NZTA Board approves funding for investigation, design and property purchase. Planning for the projects begins.
2 July - 26 August 2011 The NZTA seeks feedback on the proposed improvements to SH1.
July 2011 GWRC starts the Wellington Public Transport Spine Feasibility Study, which will investigate options for a high-quality public transport system between the Railway Station and Newtown.
Early 2012 The NZTA publishes a report on feedback on the SH1 improvements.
Mid 2012 The NZTA announces its decision to build Option A
GWRC consults, and adopts, the Wellington Regional Land Transport Programme, which includes the Tunnel to Tunnel Improvements (Paterson to Tory Street and ICB optimisation project).
NZTA Board approves construction funding for the T2T project
Government announces the National War Memorial Park, including putting Buckle Street underground.
Mid to Late-2012 The NZTA works with directly affected parties in assessing the environmental effects of the SH1 improvements.
Late 2012 GWRC completes the Wellington Public Transport Spine Feasibility Study.
Early 2013 The NZTA lodges its RMA applications with the EPA, which will likely be determined by a Board of Inquiry.  This process will include an opportunity for public submissions and participation in a hearing, and should take about nine months to complete from the time of public notification.
Late-2013 The detailed design of the Paterson to Tory Street bridge begins.
Mid 2014 to 2016 Construction of the bridge is scheduled to start in from mid-2014. The bridge is expected to take two and a half years to complete.