Council to earthquake-strengthen Seatoun Tunnel

2 May 2018

Wellington City Council plans to strengthen Seatoun Tunnel to help ensure it is usable in the aftermath of an earthquake.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman standing in front of the soon-to-be strengthened Seatoun Tunnel.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman at the soon-to-be strengthened Seatoun Tunnel

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Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, the council’s transport portfolio leader, says it is important residents have an effective escape route in the event of a disaster. 

“Preparation for earthquakes is important work and I’m pleased the Council is investing in this vital infrastructure.” 

“As well as being a fast route out of Seatoun and Karaka Bays, the 112-year-old tunnel is a heritage structure so we’ll ensure it maintains its current charm. However, we will be painting the inside, making it brighter and safer for residents to walk and bike through.” 

It is the fourth of four tunnels the Council is earthquake strengthening. The other three, which have already been completed, are Karori, Northland and Hataitai Bus tunnels. The Council is currently seeking design proposals for the Seatoun Tunnel strengthening, which will be ready for consideration in the second half of the year. Work on the tunnel is expected to start before the end of the year. 

The Council has earmarked $1.8 million for the project in its draft 10-Year Plan. 

Along with improving the resilience of the transport corridor, the Council plans to strengthen a number of buildings including the Town Hall, Wellington Museum and the St James Theatre. The Council also intends to work with building owners to strengthen their earthquake-prone heritage buildings and is considering increasing the Built Heritage Incentive Fund to $1 million per year. 

People can read the Council’s 10-Year Plan and have their say about the city’s future on our consultation website, Our 10-Year Plan or through social media using the hashtag #WgtnPlan. Public consultation is open until 15 May.