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Kapiti Coast: Conditional support for expressway

August 9, 2012

Conditional support for expressway

Kapiti Coast District Council “generally supports” the proposed MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka Expressway design and mitigation details.

However, in its submission to the Environmental Protection Authority, Council says its full support is conditional on a number of specific improvements being made.

The 48 page submission - signed off by Council today - addresses a range of issues including noise, dust and vibration, the impact on the local ecology, ground water, stormwater, sediment control, the impact on the landscape, urban form and design, lifestyles and culture.

The submission says the offset calculations used to determine levels of mitigation were not high enough; the monitoring of the impacts of construction needed to be extended well past the 12 months currently proposed; and the proposed mitigation for construction noise and vibration could be improved “significantly”.

Under the heading “Inadequate assessment of social and health effects of noise and vibration”, Council says the flow on (or cascade) social and health effects of noise and vibration, particularly during construction, “do not appear to have been considered.”

Council also raises a number of other associated issues, such as the impact on businesses and the District’s town centres, Kapiti Road traffic, and access to the Paraparaumu Medical Centre.

Council takes a positive line in the front section, however, saying it supports the proposal to construct the Expressway, subject to resolution of the specific matters raised in its submission.

In particular, it supports a second route through the district to “facilitate the separation of local and through traffic and the provision of a second Waikanae River crossing.

“Council believes that the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway needs to be considered in light of the recent decision to grant planning approvals for the Transmission Gully route, as that project will deliver expressway traffic into the district that, in the absence of an improved roading solution for Kapiti, is likely to create traffic congestion.

“The challenge of providing an improved State Highway option, supported by a major local arterial road through the Kapiti District has been discussed for many decades now and the Council supports providing the community with certainty over how this will be achieved.”

It believes the majority of the issues it has raised can be resolved prior to the Board’s decision , either through additional information being provided by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) or through “conferencing sessions.”

The latter is a well established practice that involves technical experts from the various parties getting together and identifying more accurately areas of agreement and disagreement for subsequent Board consideration.

Submissions on the NZTA proposed Expressway close 5pm on Friday August 10.

ENDS

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