Waikanae On One lobby group has raised concerns about ground conditions possibly plaguing construction of the proposed MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka section of the Kapiti expressway through Waikanae.
In its submission to a board of inquiry hearing for New Zealand Trasnport Agency's consent application to build the MacKays to Peka Peka expressway, Waikanae On One has proposed an alternative route through Waikanae, just west of NZTA's proposal between Waikanae River and Waimeha Stream.
Acting for Waikanae On One, lawyer Mitchell Law stressed several other major roading projects on the Kapiti Coast, including the MacKays overpass and Lindale underpass, were delayed by problems dealing with peat, which caused budget blowouts.
The group believes its alternative route, which includes a low 500 to 600-metre bridge, would have less visual impact and ground issues than an escarpment and road proposed by NZTA.
"NZTA management of the Lindale interchange showed just what happens when modelling has to yield to reality: the project not only took twice as long and cost twice as much as it should, but caused severe consequences for Kapiti traffic over a long period," Mr Law said.
Noel Nancekivell, who worked on the expressway design for NZTA, said he did not consider the group's option was a viable alternative to the alignment proposed by NZTA.
"Their design would result in significant excavation of the dunes ... creating a much wider footprint in a culturally significant area in which the intention is to reduce the overall impact. While the bridge would reduce the footprint, it would be significantly more expensive that an embankment," Mar Nancekivell said.
WOO's low-land, 500m-long bridge was estimated to cost about $39,000. Mr Nancekivell said he believed WOO's alternative route would be significantly more expensive than NZTA's proposal, he could not provide a figure for NZTA's route when asked by Mr Mitchell.
Inquiry chairman Hon Sir John Hensen asked him to produce the figure next week.
Related story: Kapiti expressway: the story so far
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