The Dom Post editorial:
Ninety-three years after the idea of constructing an alternative route out of the capital was first mooted in the Evening Post, Transmission Gully is within touching distance.
The Cabinet has given the NZ Transport Agency permission to borrow the funds needed to build and operate the highway using a public-private partnership. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and to finish in 2020.
Once the road is built, freight and people will move in and out of the capital more smoothly, motorists will no longer be subject to long delays or be brought to a complete halt by a single accident blocking the existing coastal highway. Most importantly, the prospect of Wellington being cut off from the rest of the North Island by a major natural disaster will be reduced.
The delays when there is an accident are just insane – a key weakness of having just one route north.
Even without crashes, Transmission Gully should see commute times reduce by 20 minutes a day for the average motorist.
If you don’t do Transmission Gully you would need to make major changes to the existing SH1, but that process is widely thought to be impossible to get consent approval for, as it would affect so many people.