Waka Kotahi aims for Christmas opening of Transmission Gully

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 10, 2021

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is pushing hard for the Transmission Gully motorway to open to the public as soon as possible, wanting it open in time for the Christmas holidays.

The 27km motorway will provide a safer and more reliable transport route between Wellington and the lower and central North Island.

“Waka Kotahi is absolutely committed to getting Transmission Gully open to the public as soon as possible. We know that people are very keen to drive on the new motorway and we’ve made our expectations clear to our Public Private Partnership contractor, the Wellington Gateway Partnership,” said Waka Kotahi general manager transport services Brett Gliddon.

“We understand how anxious motorists are to know when they will be able to drive on the new motorway, and we’re also impatient to see the road open,” he said.

Gliddon said the agency wants the road open before the Christmas holidays, but achieving that will depend on the ability of the road’s builder, the CPB HEB Joint Venture, to meet critical requirements necessary to ensure that the road is safe for motorists and completed to a high standard.

“We are monitoring their progress very closely, and we’ll be providing regular updates over the coming weeks so people will know how the work is tracking and understand the scale and complexity of the requirements that need to be met,” he said.

“We expect to announce in mid-December whether the road will open before Christmas or not.”

While construction work has been progressing well since the site was reopened under Alert Level 3, a significant number of critical requirements remain to be met by the CPB HEB JV before the motorway can safely and legally open to the public.

As well as finishing the physical works for the motorway to open, CPB HEB JV also needs to meet a large number of safety and quality tests. These are required by the project agreement, which also requires WGP and the builder to complete environmental compliance requirements to comply with consent conditions before the motorway can open.

There are 100 safety and quality assurance tests that the contract stipulates must be met before the road can open. As of 29 October 2021, 37 final submissions have been received from the builder, of which 25 have been accepted by the Independent reviewer as meeting the required specifications. However, 21 tests are yet to be submitted and 42 have only been partially submitted.

Some of these tests can’t be completed until the road construction has finished.