The year-long project by Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency – which includes a new bridge in Broderick Road that is more than double the width of the old one – is designed to make it easier to get into and around the city’s busiest suburban centre. It will also lay the foundation for future commercial and residential growth in the area.
Deputy Mayor and Johnsonville resident Justin Lester thanked residents for their continuing patience and consideration given the extent and duration of the project.
“Residents have been superbly patient. Fortunately the now familiar sight of orange cones and barriers will begin to abate as the project winds down. We will also begin to see the benefits of the improvements for motorists, public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians for Johnsonville residents and those of surrounding suburbs.”
Cr Lester is pleased that the project is to finish on time, especially given the huge amount of work going on around Wellington.
“With the smart motorway changes happening between Ngauranga Gorge and Aotea Quay, the Kapiti expressway, the Mt Victoria Tunnel improvements, the Victoria Street project and this one, sub-contractors and road sealing gangs are in short supply and projects are having to be very closely managed to make sure everything happens when it needs to.”
Councillor Andy Foster, the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Portfolio Leader, says the new bridge and Moorefield Road intersection will be sealed in a couple of weeks’ time and virtually complete by the end of July, which will be welcome news for locals.
“As anyone who has watched this happen will know, it has been a huge and complex job.
“The work has involved constructing several massive new retaining walls and backfilling behind them so the Moorefield Road approaches to the bridge could be widened and new lanes added. It has also involved building the new bridge and abutments one half at a time, and replacing and future-proofing a large number of essential underground services,” he says.
“It’s been a long haul but we are starting to see how good it will look when all the sealing, new kerbs, footpaths and bridge barriers are complete.”
Cr Foster says the Fraser Avenue area will be one of the last areas to be finished and people will see a lot going on as kerbs are realigned, new traffic lights installed and a new footpath constructed on the inside of the trees near the Z station. The bus stop and shelter (near Super Liquor) will also be moved slightly northwards closer to the Salvation Army Family Store in the next few weeks.
“The new second lane on the motorway off-ramp is virtually ready to go but won’t be in use until the work around the Fraser Avenue intersection is complete and the new traffic lights are in,” he says. “We expect these lights and the new ones at Gothic Street to be switched on in August.”
From the end of this week, cyclists and pedestrians will also be able to use a wider new path adjacent to the motorway off-ramp. The path is going from one to two metres wide and will soon link with other cycling improvements through the town centre.
Work has started on the wide new shared path and safer crossing points to get pedestrians and cyclists around the roundabouts at the north end of town, past the community centre, Keith Spry Pool, Alex Moore Park and along to Onslow College and Raroa Intermediate. Students are already making use of the completed sections near the schools.