Wellington Scoop

$630m Kapiti Expressway open for traffic: faster, but noisier for the locals

The Transport Agency has today opened the 18km expressway from Mackays Crossing to Peka Peka.

It says that traffic is flowing freely. (After spending $630million, could it have expected anything else?) But inexplicably it also has issued a warning: take care while driving.

A week ago, there was a formal opening, but this didn’t include traffic. Only politicians.

News from Kapiti Coast District Council
The Mackays to Peka Peka section of the Expressway opened to traffic early this morning and many Kāpiti Coast residents have embraced the opportunity to experience the first section of the Wellington Northern Corridor road of national significance.

Kāpiti Coast District Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow says it’s been a long, and at times difficult journey for the Kapiti Coast community, but we now have a much needed second north-south connection which will improve our resilience to weather events and traffic accidents and enhance connections within our district.

“For Kapiti residents who regularly commute to and from Wellington the shorter and more reliable journey is a welcome addition to the Kapiti Coast, but for others who live in close proximity to the Expressway coming to terms with the noise and environmental impacts imposed by the Expressway will take some time,” she said.

The Council has fought hard throughout the design and construction of the Expressway to advocate for and on behalf of the community for measures such as noise walls, bunds and significant areas of planting to minimise the noise and visual impacts of the Expressway and the 16 km off-road cycleway, walkway and bridleway.

The Deputy Mayor said it hasn’t been an easy road but the strength of the Council’s relationship with the Transport Agency and the Alliance has meant that the Council has been able to lobby on behalf of community for mitigations and environmental enhancements that will benefit the district for years to come.

“We acknowledge that it will take some time for people to get used to the Expressway and changes to traffic patterns and volumes on our local roads but on the flip side our community has gained a valuable roading asset that will make for safer and more reliable journeys and deliver significant economic benefit.”

As attention moves to the Peka Peka to Otaki section of the Kāpiti Expressway, the Council is continuing to work collaboratively with the Transport Agency and its partners to ensure this section of highway is of equal quality and positively contributes to the community district’s wellbeing.

“The journey’s not over yet and we have a lot of work to do to ensure the Peka Peka to Ōtaki section delivers for our community,” the Deputy Mayor says.


  1. Mike, 24. February 2017, 11:57

    Another utter waste of money, $630million – part of billions being wasted on unneeded roading projects.
    Politicians are but economic hitmen.

  2. GB, 24. February 2017, 12:46

    Fantastic, quicker the rest is built the better.

  3. Stephen M, 24. February 2017, 19:31

    So GB you don’t mind paying higher taxes to fund roads that do very little to increase productivity in NZ. See the recent scoop article on what economists now think of large roading infrastructure projects. The boom came in the 50s but research shows little economic improvement since. Politicians are relying on old benefit models.

  4. Newtown, 26. February 2017, 7:58

    Is there a proper bike lane next to the road or am I mistaken?

  5. TrevorH, 26. February 2017, 13:14

    Thank goodness this project has been finally realized. The old road was unsafe and inadequate as is much of the roading in the Wellington region thanks to years of dithering. I can’t wait for Transmission Gully to be finished to replace the dangerous stretch through Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay especially, and provide another evacuation/resupply route for Wellington after the Big One. On to Levin and beyond!

  6. Libby Grant, 27. February 2017, 21:30

    Climate change is here and what are we doing about it? Building ‘roads of national significance’ based on shonky cost benefit analyses is stupid and wasteful. What we need are sustainable transport systems of national significance, housing of national significance and infrastructure of national significance not a continuation of our addiction to fossil fuels. Time to get into this century with a bold and visionary plan for the country we want to be.