Brownyn Torrie reports at Stuff:
A decision on Transmission Gully will be made within months, nearly a century after an inland route was first suggested – but tolls are still likely to help fund it.
Environment Minister Nick Smith referred the roading proposal to an independent board of inquiry yesterday under new rules to fast-track projects of national significance.
Dr Smith said the swift process would avoid lengthy delays such as the 17 years it took Wellington’s inner-city bypass to gain approval.
There is still more reform to be done of the RMA, but thank goodness a major project can now be consented in a matter of months rather than years.
The board of inquiry, to be overseen by the Environmental Protection Authority, will decide within nine months whether the project can go ahead as planned.
Construction could start as early as 2015.
Great. Up until this Government, I thought I would never see it in my life-time.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce said Transmission Gully would cost just under $1 billion and a toll to contribute to the cost was still likely.
I will happily pay a toll to use the road. All for user-pays.