September 16, 2018

Link road seen as vital for Hutt

Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace is optimistic about the prospects of the Cross Valley Link (CVL) despite it falling from No 8 to No 11 on the latest transport wish list.

The regional transport committee, which has mayors and transport representatives from across the region on it, last week drew up a list of transport priorities.

The list goes to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) for consideration as part of the national Land Transport programme.

Wallace says he was able to successfully argue that the CVL should be considered alongside the Petone Grenada Link (PGL), which is No3 on the list.

He said there was strong support for his view that the CVL, linking Gracefield with State Highway 2, is important to Hutt City and the wider region.

The Gracefield/Seaview industrial area is a big part of the regional economy and he said his fellow mayors understand the need for CVL.

It seems likely the $250 million PGL will go ahead and that will load even more traffic on to the Petone Esplanade.

Some large trucks are currently accessing Gracefield/Seaview via State Highway 58 and Naenae but Wallace believes once the PGL is built they will use Petone.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett was one of the mayors who put his view on the CVL forward.

“He was extremely supportive and said Seaview is particularly crucial to the region and he backed my view we had to send the NZTA a clear message we need the road [CVL].”

Wallace is also heartened by the latest work from council traffic engineers.  It shows the cost of the CVL may be closer to $70 million rather than the $100 million in the papers presented to meeting.

Hutt City needs to keep advocating for the CVL in order to convince the Government it is a road of national significance and is worthy of government funding.

Although the CVL has been talked about for at least five decades, he believes it can be built with work starting in five years.

There were some positives for Hutt City on the list, which some commentators have said favours cyclists.

A $250 million package for intersection upgrades between Melling and Hayward’s is ranked No2. Details of what that includes can only be formalised once plans for upgrading the stopbank and Melling Bridge are completed.

Wallace says melling is a worsening choke point and the delays caused by having a two lane bridge at Melling needs to be addresses.

The Petone to Ngauaranga cycleway is ranked at five ($47m) and the Haywards Hill improvements is ranked eight ($29m).

Commuters to the Wairarapa will be pleased by the inclusion of $71 million to upgrade the Rimutaka Hill Road.