Wellington City Council Works to Improve Basin Flyover

19 August 2013

The Wellington City Council says by working closely with the New Zealand Transport Agency they have achieved significant improvements to the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the Council’s submission to the Board of Inquiry sets clear expectations for the mitigation of adverse effects of the flyover.

"A constructive partnership between Council and the NZTA provides the best opportunity to improve the proposed Basin Reserve flyover," said Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

"The Council has been concerned about the whole-of-city effects of the flyover, such as urban design, heritage and multi-modal transport. Therefore we looked at alternatives and have been working with the NZTA on a suite of improvements.

"The Council has consistently preferred undergrounding and, when it was announced Memorial Park traffic could be undergrounded, further investigations were essential given the concerns of many Wellingtonians.

"Our aim is to improve this project as far as possible and maintain a constructive approach on the many other Wellington transport issues, such as the Johnsonville triangle, Great Harbour Way, bus priority lanes, Public Transport Spine Study, cycle network and other State Highway issues."

Transport Portfolio Leader Andy Foster says there have been significant improvements to the original flyover proposal following a collaborative approach from Council.

"A panel of urban designers and architects convened by Council concluded that the overall design was good, but suggested a range of worthwhile improvements which have been incorporated into the design by NZTA," said Cr Foster.

"NZTA will complete work from the inner city bypass project, landscaping some of the currently vacant areas along Karo Drive during October and November this year, and allowing some other land to be built on. Any development will be required to meet the Council’s Inner City Bypass Design Guide.

"NZTA has agreed to partner with Council in landscape and beautification of Kent and Cambridge Terraces, with the aim of providing a walking and cycling corridor along the ‘Canal Reserve’ which runs from Wakefield Street to the Basin Reserve.

"Detailed design of works on the Terraces will be finalised once a decision is made on the Public Transport Spine Study because we need to factor in whether the vehicles will run on the kerbside lane or adjacent to the Canal Reserve.

"In addition we have asked for landscaping work to be undertaken on Sussex Street to complement work planned on the other three sides of the Basin, and to recognise that traffic volumes on Sussex Street will drop significantly after the flyover completion.

"A significant remaining area that Council wishes to work with NZTA and other stakeholders on is to find a better mitigation solution for the Ellice Street corner to better protect the amenity of residents at the southern end of Mt Victoria," said Cr Foster.

The Mayor acknowledged the efforts of Council staff and NZTA working closely toward finding solutions for the issues raised by the flyover proposal, and the Basin Reserve Trust and Cr John Morrison for the new player facilities.

"Through that partnership, Council made some small but important changes to maintain connection to the Basin Reserve from Kent and Cambridge Terraces," said the Mayor.

"NZTA has also agreed to provide for bus priority lanes on the approaches to and around the Basin from day one of the Flyover becoming operative. This recognises that one reason for constructing the flyover is to improve public transport reliability. NZTA has agreed to bring forward its contribution to the Council’s planned Adelaide Road boulevard. This includes public transport priority lanes and street trees," she said.

Council and NZTA have continued to work on ‘optimisation’ of intersections along Vivian St and Karo Drive to improve vehicle and people movement in all directions by redesign of key intersections and lane arrangements. NZTA has also agreed to work with Council on long term planning for the Vivian St and Karo Drive corridors.

The Council's Basin Bridge Project Proposal: Approach to Submission, and Board of Inquiry Process paper will be available from:

Meetings - Strategy and Policy Committee