Construction of the Transmission Gully motorway north of Wellington has finally been given the green light, and its true cost has finally been revealed.
The Government today inked a public-private partnership deal that will see the first sod turned later this year, almost a century after the project was first mooted.
While resource consent was granted back in 2012, the motorway’s fate was not assured until a contract had been hashed out with the Australian-led consortium that will build it.
Today’s deal means taxpayers finally know how much the 27-kilometre four-lane link between Linden, south of Porirua, and McKays Crossing, north of Paekakariki, will cost them.
Construction works out to be $850 million in today’s dollars, which is $25m less than it would have cost if the transport agency built the motorway.
The New Zealand Transport Agency says Transmission Gully will save motorists 7.3 minutes heading south and 6.3 minutes heading north during periods of heavy congestion.
The road is also a key component of the Government’s $2.6 billion project to build a 110km four-lane expressway between Levin and Wellington Airport, which will slash about 40 minutes off that journey during the morning peak.
That is huge.
But they have not said when the first sod is turned. If actual construction has not started by 20 September, my fear is that the Greens will demand the road be scrapped as price for coalition with Labour, if there is a change of Government.