Experts: Road will slice Kapiti Coast's heart

Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012

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Three urban-design experts have strongly opposed the four-lane expressway through the Kapiti Coast, saying it will sever beachside communities, and cut through the heart of the district.

One of them, James Lunday, supporting anti-expressway group Save Kapiti, told a board of inquiry hearing yesterday into the Transport Agency's application to build the road that an alternative was needed.

"The proposed expressway route effectively cuts existing communities in half . . . changes the whole nature of the Kapiti Coast communities . . . taking away, to a large extent, the ability to create an integrated local network," Mr Lunday said.

"There is no case for such a traumatic urban intervention as a high-speed expressway. It cannot be remedied or mitigated, and should be avoided."

The road, with its limited access points, inserted a barrier through the heart of beach communities, he said.

Alternatives such as providing another Waikanae River bridge crossing and a local arterial road would remove traffic from State Highway 1 and improve local and national networks without disturbing those communities.

Mr Lunday led a team, composed of Common Ground Studio, Opus International and Kapiti Coast District Council, to design a two-lane Western Link Rd, along roughly the same route, for the council and NZTA, before the Government announced a four-lane expressway through the district instead.

Speaking on behalf of the Highway Occupants Group, urban designer Sarah Lindsay said the project would result in more than 100 households experiencing adverse effects.

The hearing continues today.

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- The Dominion Post

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