The project by Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency has made getting into and around the city’s busiest suburban centre easier and safer. It is also paving the way for future commercial and residential growth in the area.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown will open the bridge and cut a ribbon in a ceremony starting at 10am. Local residents are welcome to attend and should gather in the Richards Motorcycle Services car park adjacent to the bridge ahead of the ceremony.
The bridge will be closed from 10am to 11am while the opening takes place. During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Johnsonville and Moorefield roads. It will still be possible to get to all shops and businesses in Broderick Road and use all the mall entrances.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Johnsonville community and economy has always depended on transport connections linking the suburb with the wider region and this project has been about making things easier for people no matter how they choose to get around.
“There are cycle facilities where there were none before, new pedestrian crossings, improved traffic flows that should mean more reliable bus journey times, and less traffic congestion. We also made sure that the new bridge was built in a way that will allow for a second train line in the future.”
Mayor Wade-Brown says the cooperation shown by local residents and businesses has really helped during the year-long project and she will be thanking them for their ongoing patience.
“It has also helped having the Deputy Mayor Justin Lester taking an active role and keeping people involved and informed.”
NZ Transport Agency Central Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says it is rewarding to be part of a project that will deliver benefits to all transport users while fostering local and regional growth.
“This is a smart transport project that will make it easier for everyone to get around, whether you walk, cycle, take the bus, or drive.”
Councillor Andy Foster, the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Portfolio Leader, says the suburb already has the biggest shopping centre outside the central city and will get busier as the area’s population and economy grows.
“We’ve worked with the community to address long-standing congestion issues, make the busy Fraser Avenue intersection safer, and set the suburb up for future growth and development.
“Another 2500 to 3000 people are expected to be living in the area in 15 years’ time, and we’re waiting for the redevelopment of the mall.
“The roading upgrade supports this growth, and it’s also why we are investing so much in infrastructural and recreational improvements including the new artificial sportsfield at Alex Moore Park, improved Keith Spry Pool facilities and the planned new library and community hub.”