Kapiti Event Of The Year

The expressway opening

By Roger Childs

The forecast was not that great for Express Day on Saturday 18 February, but as it happened, there was no rain or wind.

NZTA expected about 15,000 to take advantage of walking, running or cycling the new expressway, but in the end over 21,000 Kapiti people turned out.

Probably many of these were people who originally opposed the Road of National Significance running through the middle of Kapiti.

There were fears of the expressway dividing the district; people losing their Kapiti Island views; native trees being destroyed; birds being displaced; and increased pollution and noise.

Also many thought that the earlier Western Link Road proposal would have been better.

Solving plenty of problems 

However, the expressway was completed several months ahead of schedule and the very necessary separation of through traffic from town traffic has been achieved.

Obviously for people and freight heading in and out of Wellington, the real benefits in terms of saving time and fuel, will come when Transmission Gully opens in mid 2020.

No Kapiti views were lost and the new highway has not split the district. Most local roads “crossing” it, have been significantly upgraded and go under it.

There are many other positives:

  • Local traffic is moving more efficiently as a result the much reduced use of the old State Highway One, especially from Raumati and Paraparaumu to Waikanae.
  • There has probably been a decline in carbon emissions as traffic moves more freely within and through the area.
  • The expressway is benefiting the use of the airport and the rapidly developing Landings commercial area.
  • The set of new tracks developed along the entire length of the expressway has been a huge boon for walkers, runners and cyclists of all ages.
  • Over a million and a half trees, shrubs and flaxes have been planted.
  • There is six times as many wetlands as existed before, and the bird life is flourishing in and around these zones.
  • In emergencies the new road is an efficient alternative to the old State Highway.
  • There is now a much needed second bridge over the Waikanae River.

Still some issues

The big one is noise, especially at night.

Sound walls and bunds, have been built in some areas, but not others.

Wharemauku Stream to Raumati Road: no sound walls or bunds

The area probably most affected by after dark traffic, is the elevated section from the Wharemauku Stream to Raumati Road. There are more than 200 houses within 200 metres of the expressway in this area.

There are noise issues in Waikanae and Raumati South as well.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has been slow in meeting resident concerns. It took many months for Engine Break signs to go up and for rumble strips to be removed.

NZTA has met with residents and their research is on-going. However, many locals are concerned about the lack of action on reducing noise.

However, the opening of the expressway was unquestionably the big event of the year  for the  Kapiti District. And one major bonus for locals within easy access of the highway, is the time saved in moving within the district.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has probably been a decline in carbon emissions as traffic moves more freely within and through the area.

Ho hum
Apologies Roger
How many years of use before the amount of CO2 ‘saved’ over how much was created in the manufacture of this white elephant? Which in the not to distance future, will resemble as much of an oddity as the Moi on Easter Island appear to us.
There are people alive now that will look back and wonder why? This complete waste of fast vanishing FOSSIL fuels, and emitter of masses of tons worth of human habitat destroying pollutants, will spend longer as a disused scar on the landscape, than what it was built for.
They say it took something like 150,000 miles of use in your electric car, before you started becoming more environmentally better than a Hummer.
Creation of concrete is second only to burning oil directly for CO2 emissions, kind like every ton of concrete is equal to about the same amount of CO2, and when throw in digging holes and the tons and tons of steel that went into the whole deal ???? The manufacture of steel is worst again.
So yeah we might become ‘Carbon neutral’ in about 20 years.
We simple do not have the capacity to fuel the vehicles, the world hit peak oil in 2006, it has only been unemployment, wars/refugees (ie imagine everyone in New Zealand camping out on the roads to Germany, how much oil use would that reduce global demand? And fracking – read polluting global water tables, and extracting previous periods of global warming and injecting it back into the atmosphere, that mother Earth had extracted and sequestered under ground …..
This road is the literal interpretation of ‘driving’ ourselves to extinction.
I know I’m not giving references, what is the point?
I guess it might work for a few years transporting all the global trade the Labor government are going to bring to the district ….. what a @#$** joke.
There is nothing new, humans have been hear before, except it wasn’t 7.5 billion of us
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/the-2004-cbc-massey-lectures-a-short-history-of-progress-1.2946872
Just think how much food we could have grown with the effort that went into this structure?
What were they thinking?