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Re-assessing the Petone to Grenada road – too expensive, not resilient

News from NZTA
The New Zealand Transport Agency is re-examining the Petone to Grenada (P2G) Link Road project to ensure the project will deliver the best possible outcomes, particularly in terms of resilience to major events such as earthquakes and storms.

“In mid-2017, NZTA established a detailed evaluation of how the current P2G design would perform in terms of resilience, following what we learnt from the Kaikoura and Wellington earthquakes,” Director Regional Relationships Emma Speight says.

“It is of the utmost importance to NZTA that Wellington’s critical transport lifelines are as resilient as possible to major events, so we applied a very critical eye to P2G.”

“We have also reviewed the expected costs, benefits and environmental impacts. The findings have resulted in the Agency now revisiting some key design assumptions that underpinned the development of the P2G preferred alignment.”

The project evaluation found that:

The current alignment may not provide the lifeline resilience outcomes first anticipated because the very high “vertical cuts” would be susceptible to landslides following a major (7.5 magnitude) earthquake
The project objectives may not reflect the high priority now being placed on resilience by local and central government
Expected costs could be significantly higher than first anticipated
Environmental impacts of the current design may be difficult to mitigate.

“We will now work with the local councils to review the project objectives. Together we will reconsider the need for an expressway standard, examine some of the discarded options and explore how the project could enhance and promote public transport and cycling,” Ms Speight says.

“The communities affected by the project also need to be part of this conversation. Once we’ve agreed with councils on the project objectives, we’ll talk with the community about the project’s next steps and the opportunities they will have to provide input.”

“The additional investigation and discussions with councils will take time. We realise that uncertainty caused by the delay can be frustrating for people affected by the project such as property owners and we thank them for their continued patience.”

A new project timeline will be released in early 2018.

News from Hutt City Council
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace is welcoming today’s Government announcement to progress the Petone to Grenada Link Road, citing increased congestion across the network and the strategic importance of efficient roads for resilience and economic growth.

“It’s great that the Government is showing its support for the region’s roading. The Petone to Grenada Link Road will have benefits for the whole Wellington region. It will provide faster and more reliable journeys between the Hutt Valley and Porirua, facilitate economic growth and improve resilience in the event of a natural disaster.

“The benefits, especially in terms of resilience, are well-documented. I’m looking forward to working with the NZ Transport Agency and the Minister of Transport as the project progresses.”

Mayor Wallace adds that several accidents this year have highlighted how necessary the new road is.

“One accident on State Highway 2 near Petone caused gridlock for more than two hours. Had the Petone to Grenada Link Road been there, it would have reduced pressure on surrounding roads and enabled people to get to their destinations much more easily.”

Mayor Wallace is also calling on the Government to signal its support for the Cross Valley Link Road to provide an east-west connection across the Hutt Valley.

“The Seaview/Gracefield area is the region’s largest commercial/industrial area and efficient transport links are essential to encourage business growth. High levels of congestion on the Esplanade are stifling that potential. Growth, which is occurring in Lower Hutt generally, and the Petone area in particular, is likely to exacerbate this congestion issue.”

The Esplanade is critical to the region’s bulk fuel and bulk water supplies, but is high-risk, being susceptible to earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction.

“The Government needs to consider this issue urgently. The safety of Hutt residents and the economic and social resilience of the region would be greatly enhanced by the development of an alternative east west connection across the Hutt Valley.”

2 comments:

  1. Jenny Kay, 14. December 2017, 20:02

    Good to see NZTAWgtn learning from recent failures & going back to the drawing board on the Petone to Grenada (P2G) Link Road project. Hope they can do same for other roading projects.

     
  2. Andy Mellon, 14. December 2017, 20:48

    Hopefully this kills off the fundamentally flawed idea of the CVL as well. More sustainable solutions, please!

    Use some of the savings to open park and ride on the Gracefield Branch.