Wellington Scoop

Cross Valley Connections project to ease congestion on Petone Esplanade

News from Hutt City Council
The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board has approved the programme business case for the Cross Valley Connections project – a more resilient, higher capacity multi modal transport link that will connect SH2 to the Seaview industrial area to ease congestion on the Petone Esplanade.

Mayor Campbell Barry says that having the programme business case approved is a really important milestone to reach.

“Now that the programme business case is approved, we’re over a significant hurdle to getting the Cross Valley Connections project started. The roading aspect of this project has been talked about since the 1960s, and having made it a priority when I was elected, I’m really excited that we’ve made this step.”

“This project goes straight to the heart of addressing congestion and resilience issues in our growing city. By investing in transport infrastructure projects like Cross Valley Connections, we can ensure that we have stable and efficient transport links across the city.”

“Council has set aside $160M to fund the project. Having the business case approved means we can get cracking on the next stage of the business case process required to access government funding, which generally can fund up to half of the cost of transport projects like Cross Valley Connections.”

Under the current framework for the project, Stage 1 will deliver improved Public Transport and cycle connections to complement the Te Ara Tupua shared path. This will improve access to Petone and other areas of the city for all road users.

“Cross Valley Connections will be a project for all road users – transport vehicles, cyclists, walkers, and other micromobility means of travel. It will make improvements to help cyclists navigate the Ewen Bridge, improved connections to the Hutt River Trail, and improve bus journeys by prioritising them at key intersections,” says Campbell Barry.

“I also want to make it very clear that, at this stage, no plans for the project layout have been finalised. Engaging with residents so that we can collectively produce the best possible outcome will occur.”

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the project will provide people with more choice about how to get around the Hutt Valley, as well as supporting integrated urban development in the city.

“Together with Te Ara Tupua, the Cross Valley Connections project will help to improve access, resilience and safety of Hutt Valley’s transport network.

“Waka Kotahi is looking forward to getting started on the next phase of the project with the Hutt City Council, so that people throughout the region can enjoy the benefits it will bring sooner.”

More information on the project can be found here.

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  1. Trevor Mallard, 22. September 2021, 11:01

    Congratulations Campbell Barry – this project is more important in reducing congestion in the Hutt than any other. Will mean the Esplanade can be used as it should be and Eastbourne, Wainuiomata and Seaview traffic will have easy access to SH2 north and south. [via twitter]

  2. Andy Mellon, 22. September 2021, 11:19

    Absolute fallacies from Trevor Mallard there. This will not improve access. The shift of traffic from the Esplanade up the valley to join SH2 at the Dowse will mean conflict with the traffic from Maungaraki and Hutt Road that will make joining the state highway there exceedingly difficult. When this inevitably happens during the rush hour, the Esplanade will again take up the slack. When it’s not the rush hour and traffic’s moving freely, why take the Cross Valley Link when you can take the shorter route via the Esplanade?

    Furthermore, with the induced demand that inevitably results from new road construction, how will the already constrained SH2 cope with the additional traffic load? This will cause additional delays for those living further up the valley as the sheer load of traffic joining at Dowse-Petone will overload capacity.

    If we wanted to make access better for those who have to use cars, then revitalising the Gracefield Branch line to allow a park and ride train facility for Wainuiomata and the Bays would actually remove traffic from the roads, making car and truck journeys easier for those who need to make them.

    I’d also be very reluctant to rely on any traffic modelling compiled by Hutt Council after the debacle that was (and still is) the road layout outside the Kmart on Hutt Road. Awful.

  3. Bsmith, 22. September 2021, 13:33

    Once again, just get on with it, about time.

  4. Campbell Barry, 23. September 2021, 10:30

    When I stood for Mayor, I made a commitment to progressing this project. Getting over this hurdle is significant, and brings us closer than ever before. Of course still a lot of work to be done – head down, bum up. This project is critical for our Seaview and wider business community. When I’m out visiting workplaces the need to invest in our transport infrastructure, alongside skilled workforce shortages, are the top issues raised with me. [via twitter]

  5. J Chris Horne, 23. September 2021, 20:14

    To promote the construction of the proposed Cross Valley Connection, Waka Kotahi and the Hutt City Council may be oblivious to the prospect of runaway climate change caused in part by transport emissions. These contribute to the rise in sea level and possible inundation of Petone and nearby parts of Lower Hutt. In addition the two bodies must accept the fact that increasing the capacity of the road network would lead to “induced traffic”, soon eliminating any earlier reduction in congestion.

    I urge Waka Kotahi and Mayor Barry to move their transport planning out of the 20th century and into the second decade of the 21st century.


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