The aim of the PP2Ō Expressway project is to remove congestion points on the route and thereby improve journey time reliability through the Kāpiti District, as well as improve the safety of road users.
- improve the efficiency of freight and people movements between Wellington and further north
- assist in fostering economic productivity and growth in the area.
Why an expressway is needed in Kāpiti
The importance of improving the State Highway 1 network throughout the Kāpiti District was identified by a number of studies. The network faced a number of issues in the district relating to:
- traffic characteristics (i.e. mix of light and heavy vehicles)
- population increases
- access, congestion and reliability
- route security (due to traffic incidents and weather events)
- freight movement
- amenity and social impacts, including effects on walking and cycling.
In looking at the need for an expressway, we considered:
- the main focus of the state highway network, which is about moving people and freight between and within New Zealand’s main centres as safely and efficiently as possible
- the needs of the local network and community , given the dual function old SH1 provided.
The project therefore sought to achieve an integrated network that also facilitated local trips and choice in transport modes, while recognising that the transformation of old SH1 to a fit-for-purpose local road is the subject of a separate statutory process.
Cycleway / shared path
The 10-km long shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, which runs alongside the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway, opened in May 2023.
Learn more about the PP2Ō shared path
The expressway project has a number of other key features, including:
- bridge artwork and cultural features significant to local iwi and the Ōtaki community
- an overbridge at Te Horo to link School Road and Gear Road with Te Horo Beach Road
- overbridges just north of Ōtaki allowing Ōtaki Gorge Road to pass over the expressway and railway
- a 1.3km Ōtaki railway realignment
- a vehicle overbridge at Rahui Road crossing the expressway and the railway line
- a 330m-long four-lane Ōtaki River bridge located east of the Ōtaki River rail bridge
- an underpass at Taylors Road to improve safety and provide access for local residents
- heritage features such as the relocated historic Mirek Smišek pottery kilns.
The access arrangement to and from the expressway for Ōtaki includes south-facing ramps to the south of Ōtaki (at Ōtaki Gorge Road) and north-facing ramps to the north of Ōtaki to provide ease of access in and out of Ōtaki.
How are road users benefiting?
The expressway delivers a wide range of benefits, including:
- improved road safety along the corridor due to the separation of local and highway traffic
- the relief of severe congestion points north of Peka Peka
- improved access to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital
- more reliable journey times
- more efficient movement of increasing freight volumes.
Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway alignment map