Transmission Gully finally underwayTransport
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Wellingtonians will be delighted that after nearly a century in the making, work on the long-awaited Transmission Gully road is now officially underway.
Mr Brownlee today joined Prime Minister John Key and United Future leader and Ohariu MP Peter Dunne, other local dignitaries and officials, in turning the first sod on the 27 kilometre four-lane highway, which is the first roading Public Private Partnership (PPP) in New Zealand’s history.
“Probably no infrastructure project in this country’s history has been so talked about, or been so eagerly awaited and well supported, as Transmission Gully,” Mr Brownlee says.
“This is a monumental milestone for the region and for the country, and it’s exciting to know the motorway will be ready and open in 2020.
“Transmission Gully will be a truly transformative project, and there are several good reasons why it is so well supported.
“First, it will enhance road safety by providing a state-of-the-art motorway with cutting-edge modern safety engineering.
“Second, the peak hour delays and disruption we experience too often will be eased by having a shorter, higher capacity route to the capital.
“Third, it will offer far greater resilience in the event of a major disaster, meaning access to Wellington can be restored much quicker than is predicted with the existing coastal route.
“Fourth, it will greatly reduce the flow of traffic through coastal communities such as Mana, Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay.
“And fifth, it will enable Wellington to play an increasingly strong role in the national economy by providing an efficient freight route that will help to cement its status as a key commercial hub and a gateway to the South Island.”
Mr Brownlee says the project had proved an ideal candidate for a PPP.
“Public Private Partnerships allow large and complex projects to benefit from private sector innovation and funding sources.
“This can increase certainty of delivery and drive better value for money, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.
“The PPP journey for the Transmission Gully project began in August 2012 when I indicated to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) that the Government was open to supporting the model to deliver the Transmission Gully motorway.
“Almost two years later, in July this year, NZTA signed New Zealand’s first-ever Public Private Partnership contract for a state highway with the Wellington Gateway Partnership.
“I want to congratulate the NZTA board and staff for the innovative way they’ve gone about landing this very important project.
“Under the terms of the contract the Wellington Gateway Partnership will design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the new Transmission Gully motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected five-year period to build it.”
The project is valued at $850 million in today’s dollars and is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance, which will support economic growth and ease traffic congestion on the highways and local roads by providing an upgraded four-lane route from the north into Wellington’s CBD.
It will also improve access to and from Wellington’s port, CBD, airport and hospital. Construction on the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway section is now well underway after starting construction last year.
For more information on the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/wellington-northern-corridor/
And for more information on the Transmission Gully project visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/transmission-gully/