Is The Expressway Actually Open?

Yes, and No

By Roger Childs

Photo Credit: Joel Maxwell

On Thursday the requisite Minsters of the Crown plus local bigwigs, the press and other distinguished guests gathered to open the Kapiti Expressway.

It was a rather comical scene as the opening took place on the new Waikanae Bridge.

The speeches were made, the blessing given, the ribbon cut, and then the first cars, trucks and buses rolled down the highway.

All “real news”, except for the traffic part; vehicles won’t be using it for a little while. NZTA says rather vaguely, by the end of the month.

Walkways and footbridges closed

Footbridge closed

The public will have their experience on the new expressway today, but only on a 5km section  between Te Roto Drive in Paraparaumu and Te Moana Road in Waikanae.

However, the weather threatens to rain on the community parade.

Access is currently very limited. The footbridge over the road to Makarini Street will be closed today and probably the eel bridge at Raumati South too.

As of 7.00pm on Friday, the footbridge over the Wharemauku Stream was barricaded off, and access to the walkway/cycleway north and south was blocked.

NZTA have still done well

If traffic does roll by 28 February, the Transport Agency will be happy to have fully opened the long-awaited 16 km highway three months ahead of schedule.

There was the expectation that the new route would be operational by Christmas, but the wet spring and summer, with rain every two or three days, stymied that hope.

Road sealing has been held up as three consecutive fine days are needed for the surface to “take”.