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Greater Wellington Welcomes Melling Transport Improvements, Focus Remains On Flood Defences

An announcement by New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi on the design of a new Melling Interchange, which includes a relocated Melling Station, and a city link pedestrian bridge has been welcomed by Greater Wellington.

Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter says he’s pleased progress is being made on the roading improvements as the regional council prepares to safeguard Lower Hutt from a 1 in 440-year flood, which has a 0.23% of happening every year.

“The improvements will ease congestion at one of the region’s notorious bottlenecks, easing travel for many residents. However, our focus remains fixed on protecting residents and businesses against one of our most deadly natural hazards,” Cr Ponter says.

“Today’s announcement also gives us more clarity on potential disruption to commuters, aiding the development of our public transport mitigation plan, which aims to ensure a similar level of access to buses and trains can be maintained.”

Chair of the regional Te Awa Kairangi subcommittee, Ros Connelly says it is great to get more certainty around the Melling Interchange, as the community have been waiting for the detailed plans for a long time.

“Even those who live further upstream, in Upper Hutt, know of the tetris-like traffic build up that happens at the Melling Interchange. The new Interchange will make travel between the Hutt Valley and Wellington smoother and safer,” Cr Connelly says.

"Achieving safer road travel is fantastic, however, the full benefits of the project will only be realised through the joint efforts of all the partners. Greater Wellington remains steadfast on improving the stopbank along Te Awa Kairangi, and on the provision of a modern train station at Melling that is accessible from the Lower Hutt CBD."

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The transport improvements are the remaining activities being delivered by the Alliance for the Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi programme, following March’s decision by the regional council to deliver the stopbank upgrade and river resilience work to widen the river channel to 90 metres, inhouse.

“Flood protection is one of Greater Wellington’s key functions, so when we saw an opportunity to deliver a lower cost solution that provides the same benefits, we took it”, Cr Connelly says.

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