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Work to begin on Wellington Inner City Bypass

21 September 2004

Work to begin on Wellington Inner City Bypass

Preliminary work on the Wellington Inner City Bypass is expected to start in December after Transit New Zealand awarded the contract to Fulton Hogan. The successful bid was $39.89 million.

The contract cost includes the construction of the new $7 million Te Aro stormwater culvert and close to $1 million of underground service upgrades to be constructed in conjunction with the bypass and funded by the Wellington City Council.

“The stormwater culvert runs virtually the length of the bypass so it makes sense to install it at the same time as the road is being constructed,” said Brian Hasell Transit’s Wellington regional manager.

“We received three good tenders for the project and were very pleased with the level of interest shown by the road construction industry during such a busy time.

“Fulton Hogan is a very experienced contractor and has a strong team committed to delivering a quality project that Wellington will be proud of.

“First, Fulton Hogan will prepare for the construction work ahead with detailed planning and establishment activities. After recording of archaeological information by a qualified archaeologist and a heritage conservator, the removal and relocation of buildings will begin early in 2005.

“While the exact details of the construction timetable will be finalised by Fulton Hogan over the next 12 weeks, work is currently expected to begin in December at the Terrace Tunnel end of the bypass after putting traffic management and diversion works in place.

“As the construction programme is finalised, and prior to commencement of construction works, Fulton Hogan will begin sending out regular newsletters to local businesses and residents about the details of the construction programme, progress, and contact information for enquires relating to their activities,” said Mr Hasell.

A unique feature of this project is the preservation of 23 heritage buildings along the bypass route. Of these five will remain in place, 16 will be relocated and restored, and one taken down and reconstructed using materials still in good condition. Only one building, the former Boys’ Institute in Arthur Street, will be pulled down as it cannot feasibly be relocated. All of these properties are owned by Transit or Wellington City Council.

“People tenanting these properties already know that they will need to move out to make way for the bypass and those needed in the early stages have already been given a minimum of three months notice,” said Mr Hasell.

Detailed design of the bypass, including landscaping plans and intersection layouts, has been completed and all other consents and permissions required for the project approved.

A site office will be established with an area open to the public displaying project plans and information and recording the results of the archaeological investigation.

Key dates for the construction of the Wellington Inner City Bypass (as at September 2004):

December 2004 Construction begins with traffic diversions and site clearance south of the Terrace Tunnel. Other site establishment activities commenced.
January 2005 Archaeological investigation of heritage sites starts. Earthworks south of the Terrace Tunnel begins (Zone 1)
April 2005 Archaeological investigation of heritage sites completed. Landscaping and urban design upgrades in Buckle Street start.
October 2005 Construction of Te Aro stormwater culvert (Zone 4) starts in Arthur Street east and heads west. Buckle Street upgrade complete (Zone 3).
July 2006 Earthworks south of Terrace Tunnel complete, pavement construction begins (Zone 1), Willis Street to Taranaki Street (Zone 2) complete, Te Aro stormwater culvert complete (Zone 4).
January 2007 New north and southbound bypass open to traffic. Old south bound Ghuznee Street off ramp closed.
April 2007 Upgraded two-way Ghuznee Street returned to inner city use. Project complete.
To efficiently manage the construction of the bypass the contractor has divided the project into four zones:

Zone 1: Terrace Tunnel to Willis Street Zone 2: Willis Street to Taranaki Street Zone 3: Taranaki Street to Cambridge Terrace Zone 4: Te Aro stormwater culvert

There are rigorous consent conditions that Transit and its contractor must meet while building of the bypass, covering such things as noise and dust.

There will be no work on Sundays and public holidays and interruption of access to properties will be minimised.

About the Wellington Inner City Bypass

The Wellington Inner City Bypass is a one-way, two-lane road at ground level, with dedicated turning lanes and a 50kph speed limit (until just past the Willis Street intersection, heading north, where the speed limit will increase to 80kph and the road will be gradually lowered beneath Vivian Street). Existing roads will be altered and redefined, and 700 metres of new road be constructed along with 1080 metres of new footpath and cycleway.

A total of 23 heritage buildings are to be preserved as part of the project at an estimated cost of $3m. Of these five will remain in place, 16 will be relocated and restored, and one taken down and reconstructed using materials still in good condition. Only one building, the former Boys’ Institute in Arthur Street, will be pulled down as it cannot feasibly be relocated.

Buildings of similar age and style will be kept together, preserved and restored with their original orientation and access maintained wherever possible and a historic precinct created adjoining Footscray Avenue for those that have to be moved.

Transit will install three new sets of traffic signals and build a new motorway on-ramp at Willis/Abel Smith Streets and move the current motorway off-ramp from Ghuznee Street to Vivian Street. A new link between Cuba Street and Willis Street will also be created.

The bypass will provide a safer and more efficient route between the southern and eastern suburbs and the northern gateway to Wellington, re-routing cross-city traffic away from Ghuznee Street and the heart of the inner city and Cuba Street area.


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