Concerns over single-flyover plan

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 15:15 21/03/2014

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The New Zealand Transport Agency should be more upfront about the prospect of a second Basin Reserve flyover, the Wellington Civic Trust says.

Trust chairman Allan Smith raised a number of concerns about the New Zealand Transport Agency's proposed $90 million flyover when he addressed its board of inquiry hearing today.

Mr Smith said there was little point pushing ahead with a westbound SH1 flyover, 20 metres north of the Basin, when the agency had not addressed how it will solve the current ''shemozzle'' that eastbound SH1 traffic contends with on Vivian St.

If the agency planned to eventually follow up with an eastbound flyover then that should be out in the open before the first one is granted resource consent, he said.

''If the board of inquiry consents to the [flyover] proposal then Wellington is faced with the prospect of a repeat performance when it is realised that Vivian St and Kent Tce are not appropriate for use as a road of national significance,'' he said.

''The silence in all the current project's documentation about this option is surely the dog that didn't bark.''

If the flyover gets built, it is expected to push more local traffic through the T-intersection where Vivian and Pirie streets meet Kent and Cambridge Tce. The agency has said it will add more turning lanes and a peak-hour clearway along Vivian St to combat this.

But there is no mention in documents presented to the board about what it will do post-2031 to cope with the predicted upsurge in traffic that will flow from the second Mt Victoria and Terrace tunnels.

Traffic experts said earlier in the hearing that the intersection of Vivian St and Kent Tce will struggle to cope.

Board member David Collins told Mr Smith he was not the first person to raise concerns about a second flyover, and the future of Vivian St was very much on the board's mind.

Earlier in the day, Mr Collins asked the flyover's project manager Selwyn Blackmore if any designs work had been done on a possible congestion solution for Vivian St post-2031.

Mr Blackmore said the agency had ''not gone anywhere with that'' just yet.

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- The Dominion Post

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