Works will include widening the State Highway 1 off-ramp and changes to some intersections to help ease peak-hour congestion.
Over the next 6 months, the Council and the Transport Agency will liaise with the community about this work, complete detailed designs and plan the construction timetable for this project – worth over $11 million. Construction is expected to get under way later in 2014.
Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says these long-awaited changes will do more than just make it easier to get into and around Johnsonville. They will also provide a much needed foundation for future commercial and residential growth in the area.
“The community has wanted this for many years, so this week’s confirmation that the Council and the Transport Agency will be working together to finish off the detailed designs is great news,” he says. “The upgrade work planned is very much in keeping with the Johnsonville Town Centre Plan and should ultimately boost the area’s economy. It will provide a range of safety and other benefits for pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and motorists, and allow for the improved bus routes planned in the area.”
Cr Foster says the changes should happen over the next 2-3 years.
“These works will make a huge difference to everyone coming through Johnsonville. They will also pave the way for the additional work that will be needed if and when DNZ Property Fund decides to go ahead with the planned Johnsonville Mall redevelopment.”
Transport Agency Regional Planning and Investment Manager Lyndon Hammond says the Johnsonville project stands out because it ticks so many boxes.
“This project is about so much more than improving Johnsonville’s roads. This work will also make bus journeys easier and walking and cycling easier and safer. And by working on State Highway 1 and the Johnsonville roads at the same time, the Council and the Transport Agency can maximise the project’s benefits while minimising traffic disruption. Working together, we will deliver this project more efficiently.
“Unlocking the Johnsonville Triangle is potentially a complete transport solution. This project will free up Johnsonville for everyone, however they choose to travel, and create a platform for economic growth and new jobs.”
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown also endorses the focus on improving transport for everyone, regardless of how they choose to get around. "Wellington can make cyclists welcome and safe and encourage locals to walk to facilities where possible."
The work planned includes:
- a two-lane off-ramp from SH1 and new traffic lights at the intersection of Johnsonville Road and Fraser Avenu
- upgrading the intersection of Johnsonville and Broderick roads
- new traffic lights and a signalised pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Broderick Road and Gothic Street
- replacing the existing Broderick Road/Moorefield Road bridge over the railway lines with a new bridge that will be longer and one lane wider to future proof for potential double-tracking into Johnsonville Railway Station
- improving the signalised pedestrian crossings on Johnsonville Road, and a new signalised pedestrian crossing to replace the zebra crossing on Broderick Road
- a new path for cyclists and pedestrians to by-pass the two northern roundabouts (at the intersection of Johnsonville and Moorefield roads and further north at the intersection of Ironside, Helston and Middleton roads)
- cycle stop boxes (waiting areas for cyclists) at intersections
- better bus flow around the Johnsonville Triangle (Johnsonville, Moorefield and Broderick roads), new bus stops on Johnsonville Road and upgraded bus shelters
- real-time bus travel information.
Cr Foster says that involving the Johnsonville community is a top priority, and the ball will get rolling early next month.
“An information session for the local community will be on at Johnsonville Community Centre on Tuesday 8 April, from 3–8pm. We’re also setting up a community network as a way of keeping residents up to date at key times during the project, and people can sign up to be part of it at this session.
“As plans develop over the next few months, there will definitely be opportunities for Johnsonville residents and businesses to find out more, ask questions and make suggestions.”