Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria Tunnel improvements

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Project introduction

Work to build an additional Mount Victoria Tunnel and upgraded highway around the Basin Reserve has been identified by the Government as a Road of National Significance. We are undertaking scoping work to understand the best options to make State Highway 1 more efficient.

  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status

    Design, Investigation

Project background

State Highway 1 through Te Aro, beneath Mount Victoria and towards the Eastern Suburbs has been the subject of several studies, strategies and proposals in the past.

Most recently work was carried out as part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving partnership to identify and develop options for the tunnel, as part of a Business Case process.

In late 2023, the Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria Tunnel upgrade was identified by the Government as a Road of National Significance. The announcement indicated that this work will be delivered by NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.

  • Purpose

    Create an efficient and safe stretch of State Highway 1 to connect Wellington Airport and the Eastern Suburbs with the central city and the rest of the region.

  • Key features
    • Additional SH1 Mount Victoria tunnel to increase capacity
    • Upgraded SH1 at the Basin Reserve
  • Next steps

    Building on the work already completed under LGWM, current scoping is focussed on ensuring efficient journeys on SH1 for road users.

    In line with the draft GPS, NZTA will assess the priority of this work alongside the other strategic corridors identified as Roads of National Significance in the development of the National Land Transport Programme.

  • Timeline

    2016 – Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) Partnership is formed to consider a city-wide transport plan including plans for improvements to SH1 from Ngauranga to the Airport.

    2018 – LGWM Programme Business Case is finalised, including recommendation to upgrade the Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria Tunnel.

    2021-2022 – Indicative Business Case is developed for the LGWM Transformational Programme which includes the Basin Reserve and Mt Victoria Tunnel upgrades. Detailed Business Case phase begins.

    December 2023 – Ministers, Mayor of Wellington and Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council agree to end the LGWM partnership structure and deliver individual projects separately.

    January 2024 onwards – NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi scoping Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria Tunnel as a Road of National Significance.