Waka Kotahi, the Transport Agency, has told Transmission Gully’s contractor Wellington Gateway Partnership it must open the motorway within the next two weeks.
It will be the sixth attempt at opening the 27-kilometre road.
Two years’ late
The $1.25 billion dollar project has been beset with delays, including those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is almost two years past its original due date.
Local mayors have welcomed the announcement.
Earlier, Waka Kotahi cut back red tape for the builder CPB HEB by allowing it to defer completion of 19 safety and quality assurance tests, and dropped some requirements of a further 30 tests.
A final pre-opening safety inspection will still be required.
Waka Kotahi ‘confident’
However, Waka Kotahi general manager Brett Gliddon says that, despite pavement and road-surface tests still to be completed, they are confident the road is safe, based on expert advice .
“We have not been prepared to compromise on the road’s safety, however all of the critical safety assurance tests have now been completed to a standard that gives us confidence the road will be a safe, reliable route for motorists between Wellington and the rest of the North Island.“
“Now that we have deferred these quality assurance requirements, we believe there is nothing substantial that can’t be finished by the end of March.
“We have told Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP) that we expect the road to be opened as soon as possible and that responsibility now sits with them.”