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Minister to turn ‘first sod’ MacKays Crossing

Wellington Regional Office
Media Release

Minister to turn ‘first sod’ MacKays Crossing Overbridge Project

A significant milestone will be reached today when the Minister of Transport, Hon Pete Hodgson, turns the ‘first sod’ on the MacKays Crossing Overbridge Project, 3km north of Paekakariki, on State Highway 1.

Transit Regional Manager Brian Hasell said the commencement of this project is a real reason for celebration.

“This day has been long-awaited by many road users who travel between Kapiti and Wellington.

“Currently, 24,000 vehicles per day pass through MacKays Crossing and there are often delays while traffic waits for trains to pass through the level crossing.”

Transit project manager AJ Hardie said the overbridge and realignment work would help to reduce crashes and enhance traffic flow at MacKays Crossing.

“The current stretch of highway is poorly aligned – vehicles have to slow down to 45 km/hr to negotiate the two corners that form an ‘S’ bend over the railway level crossing. The construction of the overbridge and road realignment will remove those bends and eliminate the need for state highway traffic to stop at the level crossing creating a safer and consistent 100 km/h speed environment,” said Mr Hardie.

Transit will work with the Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council to ensure the project has as little effect as possible on the surrounding environment.

“A 3.5 hectare area of wetland south of MacKays Crossing needs to be used for the project. To mitigate this we will enhance the existing wetland by planting native vegetation around the site and creating more open water in existing wetland,” said Mr Hardie.

Contractors Fulton Hogan will carry out the design and construction of the project and most of the work will take place without major disruption to State Highway 1 traffic. The $20 million project is expected to be completed by Spring 2006.


ENDS

Facts about MacKays Crossing Overbridge Project

- The project involves:

Building a 120 metre-long four-lane bridge over the railway in the vicinity of the existing railway level crossing at MacKays Crossing
Realigning the road to ease bend at ‘Sang Sue’ corner 1km south of the railway crossing
Constructing new accesses to Queen Elizabeth Park and Whareroa Farm.

- The improvements also allow for possible future connection to the proposed Transmission Gully Motorway.

- Transit identified six options to improve the highway and investigated the economic, engineering and environmental impact of each before selecting the preferred scheme.

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