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Overview

The Wellington region relies on two key north-south road and rail corridors connecting Wellington city to Porirua and Kāpiti to the west, and Hutt Valley and Wairarapa to the east. We’re making good progress with the Wellington Northern Corridor projects on SH1. This includes the $850 million Transmission Gully, which will be finished in 2020, and the $330 million Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway, which will be finished in 2021. Along the Hutt Valley/Wairarapa corridor we are investing $196 million in rail upgrades to create a more reliable service.

We’re also connecting the walking and cycling paths linking Wellington and Lower Hutt, including between Ngauranga and Petone, as well as investing in walking and cycling facilities. Safety improvements are also being implemented on SH58.

With more than 82,000 people travelling to or through Wellington’s central city every day, congestion is a big issue. The $6.4 billion Let’s Get Wellington Moving package will integrate modern rapid transit and public transport alongside the roads and motorways, and make city streets safe and attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. By giving genuine congestion-free options like rapid transit and walking and cycling, some people will leave the car at home, freeing up the roads for those that have to drive.

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Wellington City and Hutt Valley

In May 2019, the Government announced a $6.4 billion indicative package for Let’s Get Wellington Moving to address transport issues between Ngauranga and Wellington Airport. This is a substantial investment in Wellington over the next 20 years. Work will begin soon on early improvements while major projects are investigated and designed.

We are investing in the region’s bus and rail public transport networks, including supporting improvements to the regional bus fleet, and the Wellington Metro Rail Upgrade which includes double tracking the Hutt Valley line between Trentham and Upper Hutt.

We are continuing to work with Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hutt City Council on RiverLink, the partnership that aims to improve flood protection, urban design, and multi-modal transport access to central Lower Hutt. Work continues developing the detailed business case for the Melling transport improvements that make up part of this project.

The Petone to Grenada link road project has been re-evaluated, and we have decided to redesign the project with a focus on resilience, safety, and transport choice for east-west journeys between the Hutt Valley and northern Wellington/Porirua. The next step is to investigate and develop a new proposal as a part of a detailed business case, when funding becomes available.

In the last 18 months

  • The Oriental Bay cycleway was completed and opened in December 2018. The Hutt Road cycling improvements were also completed, apart from improvements to Kaiwharawhara bridge. These were both delivered by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Government.
  • The final stage of Wainuiomata Hill Shared Path was completed and opened in May 2019, delivered by Hutt City Council in partnership with the Government and NZ Transport Agency. The overall project, including Pukeatua Bridge (which opened in 2015), cost $14.8 million, with $9 million invested by the Transport Agency (National Land Transport Fund and Urban Cycleways Fund).
  • The Transport Agency has supported investment in upgrading Wellington’s bus fleet – bringing double-decker and electric buses to the region.
  • Work is underway to investigate and deliver the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme. It includes:
    • A walkable city
    • Connected cycleways
    • Public transport to and through the city
    • Smarter transport network
    • Rapid transit
    • Unblocking the Basin Reserve
    • Extra Mount Victoria Tunnel

Underway or about to start

  • Some of the early improvements components of Let’s Get Wellington Moving are expected to begin later this year, including work on bus priority improvements in the central city. We also hope to be consulting on safer speeds in the central city and on SH1 east of Mount Victoria tunnel, and on options for a crossing on Cobham Drive. We plan to be seeking public feedback on proposals to improve the Golden Mile and Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road next year.
  • The Petone to Melling section of the Wellington to Hutt Valley walking and cycling link has received resource consent, and the Transport Agency has approved funding for implementation. We expect construction to begin later this year. The Ngauranga to Petone section is at the consenting phase. These sections are being delivered by the Transport Agency in partnership with Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
  • The Evans Bay section of the Tahitai bike path began construction in April 2019. This is a $10 million project being delivered by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Government and Transport Agency.
  • The Wellington Metro Rail Upgrade is delivering power supply and track upgrades to the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Melling lines. This work will enable larger and more frequent trains. This includes double-tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt which will increase capacity on this section of the line.
  • Safety improvements to SH58 are due to begin in stages. We are investing in Stage 1 from the Haywards interchange to Mt Cecil Road. This work involves widening the road and sealed shoulders, installing median safety barriers and curve easing. This will begin in the coming months.

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Porirua, Kāpiti and the Wellington Northern Corridor

Work continues on the Wellington northern corridor on SH1. The Transmission Gully motorway is working towards opening in 2020. The $850 million cost of this project is funded through a public-private partnership (PPP). In the meantime, we are implementing small changes along the existing SH1 to help ensure safer and more reliable journeys. These include limited closures of Paekakariki Hill Road and changes at Paremata Roundabout.

The Peka Peka to Ōtaki section of the Kāpiti Expressway is under construction, while resurfacing on Mackays to Peka Peka is paused for the winter.

At the same time, projects to hand over Kāpiti’s existing SH1 routes as local roads are underway, with the Mackays to Peka Peka revocation work underway and consultation taking place on the Peka Peka to Ōtaki revocation. These revocation projects aim to ensure that the corridors are more accessible for all modes, can serve as an alternative if the expressway is closed, connect communities, and create safer journeys. They will then be transferred to Kāpiti Coast District Council.

The Ōtaki to north of Levin project has been re-evaluated, and a new approach has been agreed. Some short-term safety improvements have been completed, and further work is being considered. We have announced a preferred corridor for the new route. The next step for the Ōtaki to north of Levin project is to undertake the Detailed Business Case and further investigate and progress design of the road, within the preferred corridor. However, there is no funding currently available for this work.

In the last 18 months

  • Paekakariki Hill Road closures have been put in place each Friday afternoon to improve journey times and safety on SH1 northbound in the lead up to the opening of Transmission Gully. These were trialled and will remain in place for as long as they are beneficial.
  • At Paremata Roundabout, metered lights are being installed. These signals will help stagger northbound traffic through the roundabout, resulting in reduced queues for southbound traffic and making it easier for people in vehicles to exit the Paremata park and ride car park. This is expected to help traffic flow through the area until the opening of Transmission Gully.

Underway or about to start

  • Construction of the $330 million Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is progressing well is expected to open in 2021.
  • Resurfacing work on the Mackays to Peka Peka expressway has progressed well – this is paused for the winter months and will recommence in September 2019.
  • Mackays to Peka Peka revocation has begun (the process of making the former state highway into a local road). Before the road is transferred to the local council, it will be improved for cycling and walking, drainage upgraded, and we’ll make sure the route is appropriate for town centres. We are also seeking community feedback on Peka Peka to Ōtaki revocation.
  • Work continues on the Transmission Gully motorway, with 12 of the project’s 25 structures now complete. Construction is 75% complete and the expressway is scheduled to open in 2020.

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Wairarapa

We have consulted on safety improvements in Wairarapa as a part of the Safe Roads Alliance. We are also focusing on maintaining SH2 including the vital link over the Remutaka Hill.

In the last 18 months

  • We have completed a significant amount of maintenance work on SH2 over the Remutaka Hill during blocks of overnight closures. These closures have significantly reduced the expected number of daytime works under stop-go lane closures, and we are considering similar closures for maintenance in future.

Underway or about to start

  • Safety improvements to SH2 between Masterton and Carterton were consulted on in late 2018. The Safe Roads Alliance is expected to report recommendations back to the community in the coming months.
  • The Wellington Metro Rail Upgrade includes improvements to the track shared by the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Lines, which will enable faster and more frequent services to be added in the future.

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Investment in Wellington

NLTP2016–182018–21
Forecast total investment $1.6 billion $2 billion
Forecast maintenance and operations $358 million $429 million
Forecast public transport investment $450 million $637 million
Forecast walking and cycling $13 million $91 million
Regional network improvements $688 million $698 million

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