Sunday, May 19, 2024

Long tunnel on drawing board for Wellington

The Government has asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option for Wellington, Transport Minister Simeon Brown revealed today.

“Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy,” said the Minister.

Mr Brown said the Long Tunnel option aligned strongly with priorities in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS), including a reduction in travel times, greater resilience for the SH1 corridor, and improved safety for road users, pedestrians, and cyclists.

“The Long Tunnel option has the potential to deliver up to 15-minute travel time savings between the region and Wellington airport, compared to around 2-3 minutes for the current parallel or diagonal tunnel proposals at Mt Victoria and the Basin,” he said.

“The option would also see better urban amenity through greater reallocation of surface level road space to active modes and public transport in the CBD and greater opportunities for housing intensification. Enhanced regional connectivity to the airport and hospital would also be achieved with reduced city and state highway congestion.

“The option would also mean less construction disruption for local traffic as the Long Tunnel option could be built with less disruption to the city centre and less impact on public and private properties required for other options.

“To rebuild our economy and ensure people and freight can get to where they need to go quickly and safely, we need to move at pace to deliver the infrastructure our country needs.

“I look forward to receiving advice from NZTA on the technical feasibility, cost, and funding and financing options for this proposal as NZTA works on delivering the Government’s priority of a second Mt Victoria Tunnel in Wellington.”

Planning is also continuing on a duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project for the city.

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