NZTA announces new design improvements and cost estimates for Kapiti Expressway


The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced new details on design improvements for the Kapiti Expressway, including an updated route alignment for the Peka Peka to Ōtaki section, and released updated cost estimates for both the MacKays to Peka Peka and Peka Peka to Ōtaki sections of the road.

The NZTA’s Wellington State Highway Manager Rod James said several significant changes had been made to earlier proposals in response to community feedback and the outcome of further investigation and design work.

“We’ve listened closely to the community, and we’ve incorporated a number of design improvements after considering public feedback. We think this will be a good investment in the long-run by ensuring the project will work better for the local community.”

Updated estimates for the MacKays to Peka Peka and Peka Peka to Ōtaki projects are for likely costs of approximately $630m and $250m respectively. Cost projections when the NZTA Board approved proceeding with investigation and design work in 2009 were $550m and $215m respectively.

Mr James says the latest estimate also reflects inflation escalation, adjustments the NZTA has made following investigations into ground conditions, and the need for additional wetland protection.

“In addition to inflation, there are several reasons why the cost estimate for the MacKays to Peka Peka section has increased since 2009.

“These include the upgrade of the Raumati Straight which was not allowed for in the earlier estimate, provision of suitable bridge design for all crossings of local roads and the retention of all east-west connections, and the increased earthworks and seismic costs resulting from investigations into ground conditions.

“In addition, detailed drainage modelling has identified the need for increased wetland and flood storage areas which have led to increased landscaping costs.”

Mr James said the new estimate for the Peka Peka to Ōtaki section now includes the cost of an additional road bridge at Rahui Road to maintain connection with central Ōtaki and which has been provided in response to feedback from the community.

“The new estimate also takes into account increased property acquisition requirements related to the adjusted route alignment, as well as the need to relocate rail lines and to protect the rail corridor.”

Mr James said the updated route alignment for Peka Peka to Ōtaki had taken into account feedback provided in nearly 500 submissions which had been received by the NZTA in 2011.

Taking into account the feedback received and further work carried out by the project team the NZTA has announced the following changes to the route of the Peka Peka to Ōtaki section of the expressway:

Mary Crest

The Mary Crest alignment has been shifted further east.  This will significantly reduce impacts on the 200 – 300 year old bush remnants, cultural sites and potential heritage areas in the Mary Crest area.  It also means a reduced overall footprint of both the expressway and local road. The existing state highway will become a local road north of Mary Crest, with a new local road located west of the expressway between Peka Peka and Mary Crest.

Te Horo

The local road will link Te Horo Beach Road and School Road to the north, with a bridge crossing over the current state highway, the expressway and the railway, and a separate crossing of the Mangaone Stream.  This proposal received considerable local support.

Old Hautere Road

The main expressway has been moved further to the west, and the scheme now includes a new local road connecting Old Hautere Road with Ōtaki Gorge Road.  This change takes into account concerns raised by residents and stakeholders around safety and response times for emergency services.

South Ōtaki interchange

This interchange will provide access to Ōtaki from the south.  It will be located south of the Ōtaki River, with the local road crossing over the railway and expressway close to the existing Ōtaki Gorge Road railway bridge. This proposal received strong local support. 

Rahui Road connection

As a result of feedback from the community, the NZTA will build a bridge for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists over the expressway and the railway at Rahui Road.  The design of the bridge has been carefully considered to minimise the gradient of the approaches to the bridge and the visual impact of the bridge. 

North Ōtaki interchange

Coming into Ōtaki from the north, vehicles will use the existing state highway approach to town via a new bridge over the expressway and railway. Heading north from Ōtaki, access to the expressway will be via a new on-ramp which will provide a safe merge with through traffic.  This proposal received strong local support. 

Walking and cycling

The NZTA is considering providing a separate path for pedestrians and cyclists between Peka Peka and Ōtaki.  The path would be built next to the new local road/existing state highway from Peka Peka through to Ōtaki, where it will link up with the Ōtaki railway retail area.

For more information, including the latest community newsletters detailing the latest proposals for the Kapiti Expressway go to: link) link)