5 Mar 2022

Transmission Gully: NZTA slices red tape to open sooner

12:08 pm on 5 March 2022

Waka Kotahi's move to speed up the opening of Transmission Gully is good news - as long as it does not compromise the quality of the new highway, the mayor of Porirua says.

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Transmission Gully. (File photo). Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The Transport Agency has allowed the road builder CPB HEB to defer completion of 19 safety and quality assurance tests, and has dropped some requirements of a further 30 tests.

About 100 tests were supposed to be completed and signed off prior to the road opening. CPB HEB now has 18 left to meet; 15 with reduced requirements.

Porirua mayor Anita Baker could not say which tests had been deferred but hoped it did not mean there was a greater risk of the road having to close after opening.

"As long as those effects don't have anything to do with safety, or any issues to do with the harbour, in the catchment with stormwater, and the fact that they won't have to go back and close the road or do them later, I'm okay with it.

"But otherwise, I'd just like them all completed now and do the job, do it once."

She said people would not mind waiting.

"It just seems silly to rush it now we're almost at the end. Why wouldn't you just tick off those last things even if it is another month?

"We've all got to the point where ... let's just do it once. We don't want to see it shut again."

Baker said her council would get at least two weeks' notice prior to the road opening, as was a contractual obligation, in order to get the local link roads ready.

Waka Kotahi said the safety and quality of the highway were not being compromised by deferring and reducing the tests.

"Waka Kotahi is not prepared to compromise on the long term safety of the road but we are working to balance this along with the road's reliability, safeguarding the public from any future financial liability for defects not remedied now, while doing everything we can to ensure people can use this vital transport connection as soon as possible," it said in a statement.

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