The first commuter rubber has hit the new motorway fast-tracking the Capital with the Kapiti Coast.
Transmission Gully opened its brand new 27kms of tarmac quietly to traffic at 2:45am this morning, giving the first experience of driving the steep Wainui Saddle, which at 8% is the same gradient as Ngauranga Gorge, only twice as long.
This is the first glimpse of a valley, now a road, that has been hidden behind hills from its predecessor SH1, all but inaccessible other than to outdoor adventurers.
Waka Kotahi says its taken a hundred years to build it, and is discouraging people from rushing out to give it a go.
But, there was no stopping our Nine to Noon colleague Melanie Phipps, who's blue-toothed her phone and checks in with Kathryn Ryan from the Pauatahanui interchange.