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Project introduction

We are working with HCC and GW on RiverLink to make Lower Hutt more connected, resilient and vibrant. The Melling transport improvements, with funding of up to $420m, provides a new safer Melling interchange, a new bridge over Te Awa Kairangi, a relocated Melling train station and new paths.

Project update – June2021

On Friday 4 June 2021, the Government announced increased investment in the NZ Upgrade Programme and confirmed its direction. This announcement provides certainty to the Melling Transport Improvements project as part of RiverLink, with increased funding available.

NZ Upgrade Programme – Melling interchange details

  • Estimated project cost

    $420 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status

    Investigation

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Purpose

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Greater Wellington (GW) and Hutt City Council (HCC) are working collaboratively to achieve better flood protection, urban revitalisation and improved transportation. We are looking into a range of options for transport improvements and will integrate these with the GW’s flood protection project and HCC’s ‘Making places’ project.

During peak periods and in the weekend, SH2 at Melling becomes very congested with vehicle queues often exceeding storage capacity. Traffic signals in a 100 km/h environment create a safety and crash risk particularly for vehicles queued to turn right onto Melling Bridge from SH2. We also know that people see SH2 as a barrier to walking and cycling between Harbourview, Melling Station and the city centre.

The challenge is to reduce travel times without creating safety concerns or too much delay. We're also looking to make transport more reliable as we know it is regularly affected by surface flooding and becomes quickly congested when crashes occur.

RiverLink

RiverLink is a partnership between Waka Kotahi, Greater Wellington, and Hutt City Council, working together with iwi mana whenua, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika, and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

It includes a number of projects and initiatives to help make Lower Hutt better connected, more resilient and more vibrant, including transport improvements, upgraded flood protection, and changes that aim to turn the city to face the river and encourage new residential development.

RiverLink website(external link)

Key features

  • A new Melling/SH2 interchange, river bridge, railway station and pedestrian and cycle facilities to improve transport safety, reliability and transport choice.
  • Relocation of the railway station at Melling. The new railway alignment will improve the reliability of the train service as well as provide more ‘park and ride’ options for commuters.
  • Flood protection elements include new stopbanks, a wider channel and elimination of the channel restriction caused by the Melling Bridge.
  • Improved lifestyle through city centre revitalisation and creating a ‘River City’ identity.

Benefits

The overall outcomes sought by RiverLink are a connected, resilient and secure floodplain; an integrated, resilient, safe and efficient transport network; a more liveable Hutt City and enhanced economic growth.

The Melling transport improvements aim to:

  • provide safer journeys for all road users including cyclists and pedestrians
  • provide more efficient and reliable travel in peak periods and on weekends
  • improve travel choice including access public transport and making it easier to walk and cycle to and from Hutt city centre
  • improve resilience of the road network
  • support the flood protection and urban development outcomes of the wider RiverLink programme.

What’s happening and next steps

The RiverLink partners are working together and preparing to seek combined resource consents and other planning and environmental approvals for the combined RiverLink project. We asked the community for feedback in late 2020 and early 2021 and your views have helped us develop the design of the project. We expect to lodge our applications for consents by late 2021.

The Melling Transport Improvements components of RiverLink are fully funded by the New Zealand Government through the NZ Upgrade Programme. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 once the consenting process is complete.

More information