The Government has confirmed it will support the $6.4 billion budget for the transformational project over two decades.
LGWM has a programme of development which will include mass transit, improvements in roading, safety, public transport, walking and cycling networks and making the CBD a more people-friendly place to live.
“This is a momentous day for Wellington and one which shows we are putting people first,” the Mayor says.
He noted the last significant investment in the city’s transport network of this scale was the completion of the Terrace Tunnel in 1978, 40 years ago.
“We want to create a balanced transport network which will carry more people but with fewer vehicles.
“Around 10,000 people have given us feedback and we have surveyed Wellingtonians extensively. They have told us clearly what they like and what frustrates them about getting around the city.
“There was strong support for mass transit and improvements around the Basin Reserve are their highest priorities.
“This investment is a massive boost to the Wellington economy over the next decade and an enormous opportunity for training and upskilling our local workforce.”
Wellington’s population will grow by 50,000-80,000 in the next 30 years and the Mayor says without change the transport network could grind to a halt.
“A public transport spine is crucial. It will help take the private vehicles out of the CBD, which will also improve it for people.
"But LGWM is not just about a better transport network, it's about investing in and sparking urban development. With reliable and regular mass transit the city can grow alongside the public transport spine,” adds the Mayor.
On Wellington’s "Golden Mile" the priority will be on public transport and pedestrians. Work on improving the Golden Mile will start this year in an $85-million early funding package, says Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who holds the Transport Portfolio.
"You'll still be able to park in the CBD and the parking buildings will all still be there but those high pedestrian routes will be prioritised for people. We want to be internationally renowned as a walkable and cosmopolitan city,” Cr Calvi-Freeman says.
“The duplication of the 1931 Mt Victoria tunnel and the proposed work at the Basin Reserve would remove one of the city’s most significant impediments to through traffic, cycling and walking, and would support the growing economy of the eastern suburbs”, says Cr Calvi-Freeman.
“The eventual completion of a mass transit route between the CBD and the airport would revolutionise commuting for eastern and southern suburbs residents.”
LGWM is estimated to cost $6.4 billion over the life of the project, including capital and operating costs and interest. The Government will contribute 60 percent, and Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council 40 percent. The local government component will be funded by general rates, a targeted rate along the mass transit spine and transport levies.
Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery says it is a very exciting package and the biggest investment in the city’s history.
“LGWM is about reshaping Wellington and equipping it for the future. We now need to focus on the delivery, which I know will be challenging and hugely complex, but extremely important for future generations.”