11 Jul 2008

Transmission Gully preferred route revealed

4:03 pm on 11 July 2008

Details have been released of the preferred route for Transmission Gully, which Transit says will cost less to build and will withstand more earthquake damage

Wellington Regional Council and Transit have agreed on plans for the alternative route to the existing State Highway 1 out of the capital, which they say will save $275 million.

Transit says the new route will also have less impact on the environment, cross fewer waterways and avoid more native forest than previous planned routes. Although on a fautline, the planned route will be more resilient to earthquakes.

It says it will also be better suited to a 100kmh speed limit, with time savings of up to 15 minutes for some journeys.

However, the Green Party says it does not make sense to build part of the new route for Transmission Gully on a fault line. Wellington Tranport spokesperson Sue Kedgeley says the road should be suitable for evacuating the city in the event of an earthquake.

Among the changes to the previous planned route:

  • At the McKays crossing end, the preferred route no longer crosses softer ground near railway lines
  • The road through Battle Hill Farm Forest is on the valley floor instead of on the steep wooded face of the ridges
  • There is no longer a Warspite Interchange, as this will be combined into the Whitby/Waitangirua Interchange
  • The number of stream crossings has been reduced

The revised cost estimate for the project is $1.025 billion. Submissions on the route close on 20 August.