3 Mar 2013

Mayor says flyover needs better design elements

7:54 am on 3 March 2013

Wellington's mayor says if the flyover option to relieve traffic jams around the Basin Reserve is to go ahead more design elements must be included.

Celia Wade-Brown says the council has always preferred that an underground tunnel was built, but a review has confirmed that the New Zealand Transport Agency's choice of a flyover is the best solution.

The council spent $40,000 on evaluating merits of a $90 million flyover built alongside the city's Basin Reserve cricket ground, a tunnel and the widening of existing roads, on the basis of their economic and environmental benefits.

On Friday the Wellington City Council agreed the flyover was the best option but said any negative effects of the project must be mitigated, and it will meet with the Transport Agency this month to discuss possible options.

Councillor Andy Foster said the review was not a wasted of money because it helped give a better understanding of what changes the council wants in order to improve the aesthetics of the area around the flyover.

Ms Wade-Brown believes engineering concerns have come first and aesthetics second. She says more sympathetic elements such as a sculptural bridge design and increased landscaping are needed.

The mayor said the flyover option will most likely go to the Environmental Protection Authority and the council will incorporate the changes it wants in its submission.

The mayor of Porirua said he is pleased Wellington City Council has finally seen sense in supporting the controversial flyover project.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said it was about time the Wellington City Council stopped its dithering and came to a decision.

"The key point is though that they have seen sense and they have given a tacit agreement. Many residents of the region and Wellington city alike will be keen for this project to happen as soon as possible."

He said the project will be great for the whole region and it is now vital that it proceeds as soon as possible.