Transmission Gully ramp set to cause traffic chaos, Porirua businesses warn
Transmission Gully is set to bring even more traffic into a Porirua choke point, business owners warn.
The future of Kenepuru Drive and the effect of a ramp linking it to the new motorway was discussed in a meeting between the business community, Porirua City Council and NZ Transport Agency representatives last week.
Some warned the volume of traffic on the narrow road was already dangerous and the ramp would increase it, as motorists from Tawa and western Porirua used Kenepuru to access the new motorway.
"We take our lives in our hands every night when we're turning out. It's seriously dangerous out there," one owner said.
But NZTA project manager Craig Nicholson said the ramp, known as the Kenepuru Link Road, would make little difference to the number of motorists using the road.
Modelling showed traffic would decrease on Kenepuru Drive, he said. Kenepuru Drive provides access to Kenepuru Hospital, Bishop Viard College and a planned 1000-home development.
While southbound drivers on Transmission Gully could use the ramp to get to Kenepuru Drive, Nicholson said those wanting to travel from Wellington to Kenepuru could use the existing State Highway 1, or an interchange near Whitby.
Work has started on the ramp, which will exit Kenepuru Drive, swoop over the railway line and current State Highway 1, before an interchange links it with Transmission Gully.
An initial plan to provide a full interchange with access to and from Kenepuru was abandoned after a safety audit found a northbound off-ramp was a serious concern.
Porirua City Council chief operating officer Tamsin Evans said Transmission Gully would have a huge impact on the city, and the council was taking a "network-based approach" to keep traffic flowing.
Modelling showed a decrease in Kenepuru Drive traffic, but it was impossible to predict what would happen in 2020 when Transmission Gully opened, she said.
"I absolutely accept what you're saying about the turning of the traffic and the visibility of the sight lines. It's a narrow road and development has happened, and unless everybody is prepared to give up metres of your frontage, there is very very little we can do about that, so we have to take a network approach."
One business owner said Kenepuru traffic was getting worse, and nothing she had heard at the meeting alleviated her concerns.
"It's going to be a nightmare; it is now. The future doesn't look very good for Kenepuru Drive right now."