WCC divided over Basin flyover before key vote

20:48, Oct 05 2011

Wellington City Council appears divided over its support for a cheap flyover option around the Basin Reserve.

The Dominion Post is today polling all councillors before the full council meets tomorrow to finalise its submission on the NZ Transport Agency's two options for a flyover at the Basin Reserve.

Early results suggest the vote will be close, but is likely to result in the council supporting the cheaper $75 million flyover option about 25 metres to the north of the historic cricket ground.

In one option, the eight-metre-high road would go to the north of Construction House, about 65m from the Basin Reserve, before sweeping south to join the Mt Victoria Tunnel. This has been costed at $75 million.

In the other option, the raised road would go on the southern side of Construction House, about 20m from the historic cricket ground. This has been costed at $90 million.

A third option, proposed by a group of architects and known as Option X, has support from some within council, but has not been endorsed by the New Zealand Transport agency. This would likely cost more than $200 million.

Wellington city councillor Stephanie Cook said today that she did not believe "anything much'' needs to be done to fix the roads around the Basin Reserve and doesn't support any sort of flyover.


But Ms Cook isn't among the supporters of a flyover because car use is "relatively static'' and will decline over time.
"If we reduce congestion we will increase car use and conjestion will follow again soon after.''

While not supporting a flyover of any kind, she would support the undergrounding of Buckle St to allow for a "proper'' Memorial Park to be built above it.

The transport agency on Tuesday poured cold water on the Architecture Centre's underground road proposal, known as option X,  for Buckle St.

"I'm not even that enamoured of option X as it buys into the belief that we need to do something major,'' Ms Cook said. " However, it is better than a flyover.''

The Dominion Post is polling all councillors on the Basin Reserve flyover. Full results will be available tomorrow in The Dominion Post and on dompost.co.nz.

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The Dominion Post