Draft approval for Transmission Gully

May 4th, 2012 at 3:28 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Wellington’s Transmission Gully has been given draft approval, almost a century after it was first mooted.

In a draft decision released today an independent board of inquiry, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency said it would approve resource consent for the $1 billion, 27km inland highway from Linden to north of Paekakariki.

It will release its final decision in mid-June after feedback. That decision is binding and can be appealed against only on a point of law.

Today’s draft decision marks the latest hurdle in a project which – if and when completed – will be over a century from inception to realisation.

An inland alternative route out of Wellington was first mooted in 1919 and has been under serious investigation since the 1980s.

If only it had been built a generation ago. But better late than never.  Four lanes from the airport to Levin will make a huge difference to transport in the region.

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46 Responses to “Draft approval for Transmission Gully”

  1. Monty (974 comments) says:

    Excellent – there will be massive gains in productivity for the whole region as well as opening up the opportunity of affordable housing so people may live up the coast.

    I expect most of the expected daily 26,000 drivers (and their passengers) will very much appreciate being able to get to work and home from work more quickly, the people paying for services will appreciate the time saved from the improved productivity.

    And now the wankers in the Greens will start calling it a Holiday Highway. The sooner construction starts the better.

    (and I personally will enjoy being able to access the Kapiti Coast much quicker)

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  2. Lucia Maria (2,261 comments) says:

    Oh my goodness, this process is painful!

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  3. Lucia Maria (2,261 comments) says:

    Actually, the latest House episode (screened on Sunday night) featured a guy with low testosterone. More testosterone means faster decisions. Maybe the Environmental Protection Agency needs a few injections!

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  4. swan (659 comments) says:

    A shame it has a BCR less than 1.

    Whenever there is anything about roads on this blog it is important to remember the following:

    Socialism for cars is great and is the only exception to the rule that socialism is bad.

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  5. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    If only it had been built a generation ago.

    If only it had been built during WWII when it was offered at $0 labour cost by the US army based in Paekakariki !!

    I have a horrible feeling a bunch of activists will now look to hold this up with every avenue of appeal they can dream up. (The Kapti Expressway is a good example of that.)

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  6. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    Hallelujah! There remains an outside chance that I might get to drive on this road before I depart this life.

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  7. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Good stuff!
    I note the Kapiti Expressway is “approved” but still construction still hasn’t started..

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  8. Roflcopter (452 comments) says:

    I think I heard cash-registers ringing, as my house value just went up based on this news.

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  9. queenstfarmer (768 comments) says:

    administered by the Environmental Protection Agency

    Really? We now have to ask the Americans if we can build a highway? I think the good paper means the Environmental Protection Authority.

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  10. 2boyz (257 comments) says:

    The day I drive down it is the day I believe it actually happened, It should have been built years ago.

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  11. swan (659 comments) says:

    So y’all think the government should spend $1 to get 60c back in return?

    I would be more than happy to give you a 70c return! Just write the cheque out to Swan.

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  12. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    If only it had been built a generation ago. But better late than never. Four lanes from the airport to Levin will make a huge difference to transport in the region.

    If it had been built a generation ago, I wonder if it would have been four lanes all the way to Levin…?

    Excellent news though. The Waikato Expressway has hugely improved driving in and out of Auckland, may this project do the same for Wellington.

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  13. David Farrar (1,881 comments) says:

    Transmission Gully will not go to Levin. It is part of an overall transport corridor that will.

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  14. jims_whare (401 comments) says:

    I reckon it should be extended: 4 lanes to Foxton as the Manawatu River bridge/straddle will end up becoming a bit of a bottleneck – some traffic can divert through Shannon but I still think it should be taken through to Foxton.

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  15. rangitoto (237 comments) says:

    No way this can happen. A snail lives directly in the middle of the planned route.

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  16. Armotur (31 comments) says:

    Wonderful News. When will it be be finished?

    Selfish question to self: Will I be around to drive along it?

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  17. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    I’ve heard there are rare ferns and an extremely angry tanifa residing in the area, I suspect a couple of billion will be needed to relocate.

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  18. tvb (4,311 comments) says:

    I am not that convinced on this project. It would be interesting to see the cost-benefit analysis. I bet it is the least attractive hence the reason it has been delayed for so long. I assume the taniwha has to be squared, some very rare native ferns and some obscure wading bird. All this will cost millions and millions.

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  19. wreck1080 (3,853 comments) says:

    Yes, it should have been built a long time ago because the cost of building roads is much higher today.

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  20. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    This road should have been built ages ago. I have a very left wing sister who complains that rail and buses are the way to go and roads are bad, peak oil, pollution etc etc. But what she forgets is that the road isn’t just for holiday makers or commuters. It is needed for freight and industry also. Which, as Wellington inevitably grows (until an earthquake whacks us or the 2012 apocalypse strikes), is desperately needed.

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  21. burt (8,174 comments) says:

    An inland alternative route out of Wellington was first mooted in 1919 and has been under serious investigation since the 1980s.

    That’s just too much of an abbreviation to go unchecked. Seriously, it’s been ‘seriously’ considered ‘just before’ pretty much every election since the 80’s. Then it goes back to sleep for 2.5 years.

    Wasn’t there also serious consideration in the 50’s/60’s when the US Army offered to build it ? Or is that a myth ?

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  22. Viking2 (11,338 comments) says:

    here is a picture of the route.
    http://screencast.com/t/sC3neZR2Z8t

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  23. swan (659 comments) says:

    @The Contrarian

    And supporting an uneconomic government project is not left wing?

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  24. big bruv (13,661 comments) says:

    And another slap in the face for the Greens…

    Just get the bloody thing started please.

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  25. swan (659 comments) says:

    “And another slap in the face for the Greens…

    Just get the bloody thing started please.”

    Sure you dont mean ACT? The Greens are pretty keen on uneconomic transport projects in general, if not this particular one.

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  26. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    AT last! Bring it on! Should have happened decades ago… but IIRC, other motorway projects were given a higher priority.

    Anyone who cannot see the massive improvement that Transmission Gully will deliver to the region, is either a NIMBY or a total luddite.

    Bugger them – just do it!

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  27. burt (8,174 comments) says:

    swan

    The road will be steep. In terms of K’s/Litre it will be shockingly bad. It might speed the trip up but it’s debatable it will save any fuel. If the road is ever build it would be interesting to compare the fuel bills costal route v transmission gully.

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  28. hj (6,794 comments) says:

    Another subsidy for developers. We need more and more infrastructure to provide for population increase (80% of which is from outside NZ). Meanwhile investment in productive industry is starved and we need to borrow more and more off shore.

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  29. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    Well if Fulton Hogan are doing it the new road will not be finished for 25 years going on present performance.

    In my area it has taken two weeks to put in two small road island on a small suburb street. 16 people (that I could see) 5 trucks, 5 utes and 1 very small digger. Road cones for 300M. Oh the mobile coffee van was haunting the road as well.
    Two guys could do the job over the weekend. Talk about the unemployed doing nothing, you wanna see these professionals doing nothing!

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  30. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @ Swan

    Sorry, can you be more specific? I don’t think I understand your question

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  31. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    @ Swan. Sorry I see what you mean now, excuse me.

    I think relying on Centennial Highway is fairly uneconomic too, no?
    Economics is not really my expertise but I can see how, as Wellington grows, the need for a bigger efficient highway only becomes more important

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  32. Viking2 (11,338 comments) says:

    For those like Keeping stock who don’t think they will live long enough to drive over take the flyby.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/transmission-gully/6414680/Transmission-Gully-Video-flyover

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/transmission-gully/
    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=36

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  33. Viking2 (11,338 comments) says:

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  34. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    A good part of the reason these projects are so expensive is served in the first sentence. The balance is that NZers who are themselves serving a sentence will watch large-screen documenraties of the construction project from their cells rather than breaking rocks themselves

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  35. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Cam anyone explain to me why this project is being pursued instead of projects that would actually return a net positive benefit?

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  36. WineOh (624 comments) says:

    BHudson, I think the deal was for the US troops to either build us the road OR Wellington hospital. And we went for the hospital.

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  37. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    WineOh,

    I can’t find any reference to US troops building Wellington Hospiital – the Defence Department did build a 2 storey, wooden building to provide 200 beds in WWII, but somehow I don’t think that scale of construction would have presented an ‘either, or’ option. (Assuming they were involved at all.)

    http://www.ccdhb.org.nz/history/Pictorial%20index/The%201930s-40s/The_1930-40s5.htm

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  38. hj (6,794 comments) says:

    “Contact Energy has shelved plans to build hydro-electric dams on the Clutha River in the South Island, saying the costs are too high.

    The energy company has spent the past three years investigating the options at four sites, Luggate, Beaumont, Queensberry and Tuapeka Mouth.

    It says the costs were much higher than the expected $300 million to $1.5 billion per dam, meaning none of the options are viable in the foreseeable future.”
    Radio NZ
    ………………..
    Diesel getting to valueable to build a dam??

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  39. cha (3,919 comments) says:

    They left nearly eighty years ago but the moronic assertion that the yanks were going to build it persists.

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  40. campit (467 comments) says:

    If only it had been built a generation ago. But better late than never.  Four lanes from the airport to Levin will make a huge difference to transport in the region.

    There are many projects that were proposed last century that haven’t been done. A motorway through Mt Eden for instance. Can you define what this “huge difference” will be, given that there is an existing road? And don’t you need to know how much the toll will be before you can judge if it is worthwhile?

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  41. David Farrar (1,881 comments) says:

    No matter what the toll is, I’ll be happy to pay it!

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  42. Paulus (2,589 comments) says:

    Do a PPP, and get the Chinese to build it.

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  43. swan (659 comments) says:

    “David Farrar (1,584) Says:

    May 5th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    No matter what the toll is, I’ll be happy to pay it!”

    Great, well it will be about $15 a trip for the government to get an economic return out of it. Hopefully they charge this much.

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  44. Scott B (23 comments) says:

    “Cam anyone explain to me why this project is being pursued instead of projects that would actually return a net positive benefit?” (mikenmild)

    The impression I get is that the current government has worked out that building a few large to very large scale projects will be better politically than many much smaller projects. However it is often the smaller projects that have the best economic return, such as fixing a dangerous intersection/bend or removing a bottleneck (allowing the road around it to be used closer to capacity). While economically the small projects preform well economically they do not typically get associated with governments or people.

    Unfortunately the current plan seems to be to slash minor works and maintenance spending in favor of the large memorable projects.

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  45. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Thanks Scott, that seems a credible explanation. Spend on something big whether it’s a good idea or not. Maybe NZ should buy an aircraft carrier as well.

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  46. Scott B (23 comments) says:

    Hehe, an Aircraft Carrier would be pritty cool :), I guess we would have to kill off the entire rest of the military to fund it (and even that might not be enough).

    It is a real pity that the government wants to effectively build monuments when much more productive projects are available and we are running a huge deficit. That’s the kind of behavior I would expect from a left wing government.

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