National will fast-track construction of the new Melling interchange as well as the investigation and design of a new interchange at Kennedy Good – both along State Highway 2 in Lower Hutt, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says.
“State Highway 2 is the main commuter and freight route linking Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa through to the Hawke’s Bay. It is a busy and strategically important highway which is a critical route in and out of the Wellington region,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Melling intersection is currently a real choke point, particularly at peak times and the use of traffic signals at the intersection is a safety and crash risk.
“A new interchange at Melling has been talked about for decades, but in recent years there have been growing calls for work to start to support the growing traffic flows.
“So a re-elected National-led Government will start work on the new interchange as quickly as possible to unblock the growing congestion and get traffic flowing freely, with our aim to start construction in the next term of government,” Mr Bridges says.
“The new interchange will improve travel times for people and freight moving around the Wellington region, support economic growth and boost the region’s productivity.
“It will also ensure a safer and more reliable connection to the Hutt City Centre and Western Suburbs.
It will cost an estimated $72 million to complete with the funding to come from the National Land Transport Fund and the budget capital allowance.
The council-owned Melling Bridge across the Hutt River will also be replaced, with discussions to continue about how the replacement of the bridge and will be paid for.
National will also fast-track the investigation and design of the increasingly busy Kennedy Good interchange at the junction of State Highway 2 and Fairway Drive, north of Melling.
“We will complete this work in the next term of Government and agree on the timing for construction with the Hutt City Council to ensure the project is built faster.”
A detailed business case will be developed for both projects, which will also fully integrate flood management plans for the Hutt River.
“Fast-tracking these important interchanges on State Highway 2 will ensure this strategic highway in and out of Wellington is resilient and supports the region’s strong growth.
“We know that one of the factors that underpins productivity is New Zealand’s infrastructure. A National-led Government will continue to build this essential infrastructure to keep New Zealand’s economy growing,” Mr Bridges says.