News from NZ Government
Realisation of a commemorative park alongside the National War Memorial in Wellington is a step closer with the opening on Friday of a new road diversion to free up Buckle Street for the construction of a new underpass. The National War Memorial Park will be developed in time for Anzac Day 2015.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says diverting traffic off the main Buckle Street alignment will allow crews to begin work excavating the underpass. The underpass is scheduled to be completed in late 2014.
“The NZ Transport Agency, on behalf of the Memorial Park Alliance, has worked swiftly and sensitively to build the diversion on time and with minimal disruption, which bodes well for the construction of the underpass and park,” Mr Brownlee says. “The temporary diversion has been built to state highway standard to ensure a high quality road to cater for 25,000 motorists every day over the next two years. It also allows safe and easy passage for pedestrians and cyclists, including the provision of a new signalled pedestrian crossing. Getting traffic onto the new diversion is a very encouraging milestone.
“It means Buckle Street is freed up, we can bring the diggers in and get to work building the underpass and then creating the park. The National War Memorial Park is a fitting commemorative space that pays respectful tribute to those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Mr Brownlee says.
News from Wellington City Council
The new Buckle Street diversion road opens on Friday, with new routes for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. The diversion will carry SH1 traffic while the Buckle Street underpass is constructed. Drivers will again be able to get on and off Buckle Street from the top of Tory Street. But they won’t be able to turn into Tasman Street – for this, they’ll have to use the Basin roundabout and Rugby Street.
A new signalised pedestrian crossing has been created at the intersection of Sussex Street and the temporary route of Buckle Streets. The crossing is part of a new pedestrian and cycle route between Tasman and Tory streets.
Access to Massey University and the National War Memorial will be from the city-end of Tasman Street.
NZ Transport Agency Wellington State Highway Manager Rod James says the roading changes will be in place until the new underpass is completed in late 2014.
“Heavy machinery will be on site from mid- February and trenching starts in early March. We thank the public for their patience while they get used to this new road layout as we work towards the development of the Memorial Park underpass.”
The Government decided last year that it planned to underground Buckle Street between Tory and Taranaki streets so the War Memorial Park could be developed, without a main road cutting through it.