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Weather gives Gully Route a Hurry Up

Media Release from Transmission Gully Action Group Inc.

Weather gives Gully Route a Hurry Up

27.08.2006

The Transmission Gully Action Group says Saturday’s cloudburst at Paekakariki has given the Gully route planners a hurry up.

Group Chairman Adrian Webster said that 15 minutes of very heavy rain caused a slip that closed the state highway for hours and imposed long delays for thousands of people heading to and from Wellington.

“The size of the slip and the danger of more heavy material tumbling down led to a total road closure and again demonstrates how fragile the coastal route has become,” said Mr Webster.

He said that the region’s decision to build the alternative and more reliable Transmission Gully Motorway needs to be progressed as quickly as possible.

“It’s great that Transit is setting up a multi-disciplinary project team to undertake the geotechnical and design work but what we would all like to know is what timetable Transit is working to?

“Getting the motorway built is absolutely necessary to provide a lifeline for the capital and it’s vitally necessary for the continued economic development of the region and the jobs that that provides. We can’t leave those things at the mercy of the weather,” said Mr Webster.

He said he was not concerned about the continuing questions over funding the road.

“The Government has already committed almost half a billion dollars to the project. Any anxieties about how much the road will cost and who will pay for it are premature at this stage when the only figures we have come from Transit's desktop exercise including 2.4k of expensive viaduct.

“We won't know the likely real cost until the geotechnical work, design work and resource consent works that were generously funded in this year’s Budget, are completed in 18 months time, hopefully. That target date could be achieved if Transit puts them on a fast track.

“Without a reliable cost figure it is entirely predictable that Dr Michael Cullen keeps on saying Government won't provide any additional funding; it would simply not be prudent for him to say he would help, before the actual costs are known,” said Mr Webster.

ENDS

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