Bus Tunnel Closed this Weekend for Essential Work

29 March 2012

The bus tunnel will be closed this Saturday and Sunday so trees above it can be removed and new tunnel lights installed to make the tunnel safer.

That means that from 5.00am on Saturday (31 March) to 1.00am on Monday (2 April), buses that normally go through the bus tunnel on weekends (numbers 2 and 91, the Airport Flyer) will instead travel into and out of the city via the Mount Victoria tunnel.

The nearest alternative stops for people who usually get on or off the bus in Elizabeth, Brougham and Pirie streets in Mount Victoria will be in Cambridge Terrace (near Vivian Street) and Kent Terrace (near Pirie Street).

Hataitai residents who get on or off the bus at Hataitai village, or at the bus stops in Waitoa Road near the bus tunnel, will need to use temporary stops on either side of Taurima Street - near CSI Locksmiths and Great Wall Chinese Takeaway.

Wellington City Council Infrastructure Director, Stavros Michael, says six pohutukawa trees - three on each side - will be removed as part of an ongoing programme to protect and strengthen the city's tunnels and retaining walls.

"We have had a structural assessment done which showed the weight and roots of these trees are damaging the tunnel portals so they do unfortunately have to go," he says. "They will be replaced with some lower-growing native plants, mainly flaxes." 

Some preparatory work will be carried out today and tomorrow (Thursday 29 March and Friday 30 March) but the bulk will be done on the weekend while the tunnel is closed. People will be able to get to all properties in the area and use Town Belt tracks nearby, but the work will be noisy at times.

While the tunnel is closed, new lights will be installed inside at either end. These will make it easier for bus drivers to adjust to the changing light levels as they enter and exit the tunnel, which will make it safer.