Bridges to open Expressway at the long-awaited second bridge over Waikanae River
By Alan Tristram
The Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges, will officially open the much-heralded Kapiti Expressway next Thursday (February 16).
The event will be held at the north end of the new bridge over the Waikanae River.
The opening will end at least a half century of waiting for a second bridge crossing the Waikanae River — seen as urgently needed in the case of quake damage to the present State Highway One bridge further East.
Official opening for nobs only
The official opening is not open to the general public.
Their turn comes next Saturday (February 18) when there’ll be an ‘open day’ from 10am to 3pm on the section from the Te Roto Drive entrance to the Expressway (at the intersection with Kapiti Road in Paraparaumu) and the Te Moana interchange in Waikanae (see our story, ‘Have Your Say on the Motorway, February 10).
Thousands of Kapiti locals, and people from further afield, are expected to take the opportunity to walk or catch a tour bus to cover the five-kilometre route.
The $630 million MacKays-to-Peka Peka Expressway:
- Covers 18 kilometres
- Has four lanes
- Includes 18 bridges
- Has 16 kilometres of cycleways
- In being finished 4 months ahead of schedule
Work on this section of the projected Expressway through to Otaki started in late 2013, despite bitter opposition from many local people affected by the road.
The Kapiti Expressway is the middle section of three projects running through the Kapiti Coast — starting with the $850 million Transmission Gully in the south; and the $330 million Peka Peka to Otaki section in the north.
And these three projects are all part of a bigger picture: the Wellington Northern Corridor, which stretches from Wellington Airport to just north of Levin.