This has to be amongst the best news to have emanted from the Beehive from some time:
Transmission Gully green light welcomedTransport Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed today’s green-lighting of the Transmission Gully project, saying the project is an exciting and important milestone not only for the Wellington region but also for New Zealand’s national state highway network.“An alternative state highway route into the capital through Transmission Gully has been talked about for decades, and the Board of Inquiry’s final decision to approve the regulatory consent applications will allow the NZ Transport Agency to take the project to the next stage,” Mr Brownlee says.“The Wellington region has been waiting for this day since early last century when the project was first floated, so I’m thrilled to hear a route through Transmission Gully is now set to become a reality.”Wellington is currently reliant on a two-lane highway that has trouble coping in peak times, and is vulnerable to closure in the event of crashes and natural disasters.“Our capital city deserves better if it’s to reach its full economic potential, and the Transmission Gully route will help to unlock that potential.“The new highway will not only provide a safer, more secure strategic route into and out of Wellington, it will also dramatically improve travel times between the Kapiti Coast and Wellington as well as providing a more direct link to State Highway 58, the Hutt Valley and Porirua.”
Those who never venture south of the Bombay Hills or north of Picton will wonder what all the fuss is about. But those of us who have the need to drive in and out of Wellington on anything from an infrequent to a daily basis will be delighted that the Transmission Gully highway is a step closer.
Transmission Gully has been being talked about for as long as we can remember. Talk is cheap however, and whilst all the tut-tutting has gone on, the price has skyrocketed. The Key-led government however can take the credit for making Transmission Gully a reality.
This is going to be an enormous project. Jobs will be created in the construction phase, and once Transmission Gully is complete, the journey in and out of Wellington is going to be faster and safer. The stretch of road around Pukerua Bay has claimed too many lives, and even though there is now a wire-rope barrier between the two lanes for most of that road, it is still a nightmare. If the traffic banks up there, or if there is an accident or breakdown, State Highway One grinds to a halt. That is simply not good enough.