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Kia ora and welcome to the February 2021 update from the Transmission Gully team.

Kia ora

We hope you’re enjoying the summer – it’s the busiest time of year for our paving team who are making the most of the warm dry weather! Our first update for 2021 is all about growth. From plants, to relationships with our partners and community, to population growth and the impact that has had on the SH58 Interchange.

But first, every facet of the Transmission Gully project has a job to do, from digger operators, to engineers, to the plants. It’s not just about making the road look more attractive (although the planting does that too); planting at Transmission Gully is about soil stabilisation, protecting stream habitats, mitigating erosion, enriching biodiversity and regeneration.

Did you know that we are planting nearly 2.5 million native trees and plants, creating one of the most significant lowland native bush areas in the region?

The size of the project, and the terrain, makes it challenging work for the planting team. Check out what it takes in the video below.

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Hukarito awa regeneration

Over the summer the Transmission Gully project gifted 1000 plants to our Iwi partners Ngāti Toa. The plants were a mixture of shrubs and native grasses. Ngāti Toa used the plants to supplement the riparian planting they were undertaking beside the Hukarito awa, a stream that flows into the Porirua harbour.

Riparian planting is planting beside waterways that helps prevent land erosion and protect the stream’s habitat for wildlife. The plants also act like a sieve, helping to filter out sediment and nutrients.

People wearing high-vis orange jackets standing on either side of a creek, planting shrubs.

Volunteers get stuck in planting shrubs beside the Hukarito awa, Porirua.

Children with red tshirts wearing colourful hats and adults wearing high-vis orange jackets holding spades.

Tamariki from Te Puna Reo o Ngāti Toa enjoyed a planting lesson from the Transmission Gully landscape team.

Ka pai tō mahi koutou!

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Construction update

Upgrade to SH58 Interchange

If you travel through the State Highway 58 (SH58) roundabouts at Pāuatahanui, roadworks may affect your journey from Friday 12 February.

The roundabouts will eventually function as an interchange between Transmission Gully and SH58, connecting with motorway on and off ramps. We’re upgrading the roundabouts from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction to improve capacity and traffic flow between SH58 and the new motorway.

Work will be completed within six months.

Please be aware that the layout will change during construction and take care at all times. The widening of the lanes will initially involve night works under stop-go traffic management, which will be followed by work during the day with a temporary speed limit of 30km/h.

Once Transmission Gully opens, the SH58 Interchange at Pāuatahanui will connect the motorway with SH58 to and from the Hutt Valley, and with Paremata via Pāuatahanui and Whitby.

Map of State Highway 58 Interchange with a single lane layout.

Current single lane layout of SH58 Interchange.

Map of State Highway 58 Interchange with a dual-lane layout.

Improvements will create two lanes in and out of the roundabouts.

With the Wellington region exceeding population growth projections, particularly in areas outside of the city, traffic volumes on the state highway network have exceeded original expectations. Doing this work now will help avoid congestion on the ramps connecting to the Transmission Gully motorway, and at the roundabouts on SH58.

An average of 20,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the interchange to travel to and from the Hutt Valley when the motorway opens to traffic later this year. Average daily traffic on this section of SH58 (between Pāuatahanui and the Hutt Valley) is currently around 19,000 vehicles – already higher than the 15,000 that was originally forecast back in 2010.

Stages of planned works

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Summer fun

Walking tracks in Belmont Regional Park

If you’re looking to get out and do something different during the remaining weeks of summer, why not check out the Belmont Regional park situated in the rolling hills between Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

The park offers bush-clad tracks for walking, running, mountain biking and horse riding. It’s also an excellent spot for a picnic, or to explore the historic Korokoro Dam, Pareaho Pa, World War II ammunition stores and the original main coach road from Wellington.

Taking pride of place among the breathtaking views is Transmission Gully, making the park also a superb place to view our progress.

For a great view of Te Ara a Toa (Transmission Gully’s bridge over Cannons Creek), take the Viaduct View track from the top of Takapu Road, as noted on the map below. The Transmission Gully team will eventually be building a new carpark here.

For more information check out the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s website:
www.gw.govt.nz/belmont(external link)

There are additional recreational tracks planned for the area in the near future, including a walking track connecting the northern end of Flightys Road to Battle Hill Farm Forest Park.

The project will also be providing a connection from Battle Hill farm to Paekākāriki.  We are finalising details on the route for this so stay tuned for updates on what will be an exciting and scenic new walk. 

Te Ara o Whareroa shared path

Another option for exercise in the sunshine is cycling through Queen Elizabeth (QE) Park on Te Ara o Whareroa. The shared path was opened four years ago and provides a walking, cycling and bridle path through QE Park. 

Waka Kotahi, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Kāpiti Coast District Council recognised that cycling along SH1 between Paekākāriki and Paraparaumu would be made more challenging both during construction, and as a result of the Transmission Gully motorway. The shared path was built to provide a safer and more pleasant alternative route for cycling than on the existing SH1.

Te Ara o Whareroa forms part of the Kāpiti cycle route.

The shared path enjoys views of Kāpiti island, stands of regenerating native trees and shrubs, the sand dune formations that Kāpiti is famous for, and a peek at Transmission Gully construction.

With a sealed surface, kids can also cycle to school safely and quickly through the park in all seasons. The cycleway has been designed to meet a gradient grade 1 – the easiest level – for almost all the distance. The cycling time from Tilley Road in Paekākāriki to Poplar Ave in Raumati is approximately 20 minutes.

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Eat Drink and Be Crafty

Did you spot us at the Eat, Drink and Be Crafty fair at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park? It was a larger event than previous years, so we enjoyed a constant flow of visitors coming through the Transmission Gully Information Centre. Feedback was resoundingly positive around the recent renaming of the interchanges and bridges, especially the renaming of the ‘James Cook Interchange’ to ‘Waitangirua Interchange’ which visitors noted made it easier to identify where the interchange connects to.

People standing inside and outside the mobile Transmission Gully mobile information centre looking at the maps and information boards.

Fair goers visiting our mobile information centre at Battle Hill during the Eat Drink and Be Crafty event.

Darren Utting standing on the right, in front on the mobile information centre.

Stakeholder manager Darren Utting talks all things Transmission Gully with a visitor.

 

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Keeping you up to date

In our next newsletter we’ll update you on our paving progress. It’s all go at Transmission Gully.

Until then, we continue to remind all members of the public to stay safe and not enter the project site at any time. Work is underway in multiple areas and it remains a high hazard area.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@tg.co.nz. If you have an urgent matter, please call the 24-hour project hotline on 0800 TGINFO. If we are working outside of our normal work hours and you’re one of our neighbours, we’ll be in touch with you directly as usual.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to sign up to receive the latest project news.

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We hope you enjoy reading these updates, and we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments or story suggestions, you can email them to info@tg.co.nz

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Haere rā, from the Transmission Gully team.

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