State Highway 2 is the main commuter and freight route linking Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa, and also beyond to Hawke’s Bay. It is a busy and strategically important highway that serves as a one of two critical routes in and out of the Wellington Region, and is the only route between the capital and the Wairarapa.
State Highway 2 through Melling has conflicting state highway and local road traffic movements, is over-capacity and in a high speed environment. During peak periods and in the weekend, State Highway 2 at Melling experiences congestion with vehicle queues often exceeding storage capacity. With the presence of traffic signals in a 100 km/h environment there is also a safety and crash risk, particularly for stationary vehicles queued to turn right onto Melling Bridge from State Highway 2.
The three partner organisations (NZ Transport Agency, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council) are looking at a coordinated programme of work, called RiverLink, that aims to support:
- Transport infrastructure improvements.
- Urban design and development – such as reconfigured streets, paths, tracks and open spaces.
- Public Transport integration - improving Melling station configuration and access.
- Flood plain protection – including raised stop banks and wider river channels.
We’re aiming for:
- an integrated, resilient, safe and efficient transport network
- a connected and secure floodplain
- a more liveable vibrant Hutt City and enhanced economic growth.
Expected transport benefits, following improvements to the SH2 Melling and Block Road intersections, include:
- reduced congestion and better traffic flows
- more consistent journey times
- improved access and safety on State Highway 2 at the two key intersection areas
- better connections between Western Hills suburbs and Hutt central business district
- suitable access to and from local roads.
What’s happening and next steps
We're investigating a range of options to improve the overall resilience, safety, reliability and efficiency of State Highway 2 at Melling and Block intersections, and look at how improvements could be integrated with Melling Bridge, Greater Wellington Regional Council's Flood Improvements project, the Melling Railway Station, and connectivity issues within Hutt City Council's roading network at Rutherford and High Streets.
People will be asked for their feedback on some aspects of the Greater Wellington Regional Council's plans for the riverside, such as landscaping and access design. The riverside designs are based on earlier consultation with the community. Sharing these designs at the open days is an opportunity to confirm that they reflect what the community expects.
Once a recommended option has been identified, we'll still need to get the necessary approvals, including funding and consents, before constructing any improvements.