In August 2021, the Cross Valley Tansport Connections Programme Business Case was approved by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Board. You can read more about that here.
Hutt City Council has been working on a more resilient, higher capacity, multi-use east-to-west connection for many years. We believe the current route along The Esplanade is not providing the required level of service and will continue to underperform into the future.
The Cross Valley Transport Connections (previously known, in part, as the Cross Valley Link) intends to divert through-traffic away from the Petone foreshore with a better connection between SH2 and Seaview/Gracefield, Petone parts of Lower Hutt, Eastern Bays and Wainuiomata.
It will include improvements that will make life easier for cyclists to navigate Ewen Bridge, advance connections to the Hutt River Trail, and improve bus journeys by prioritising them at key intersections.
The Esplanade sits in a strategically valuable location, spanning the foreshore and providing an essential link between Lower Hutt's sourthern areas and the rest of our city for more than 25,000 motorists daily.
Currently travel times along The Esplanade are unpredictable. Waka Kotahi’s surveys s reveal there is a low average speed when travelling during peak times, with lots of stops and starts. This negatively impacts the foreshore area, making it detrimental for Petone.
Lower Hutt and the wider Wellington region would be better prepared for large earthquakes, and for the long-term effects of climate change (e.g. sea level rise). Preparing will help to mitigate the negative economic impacts, improve people’s access to lifeline services, and reduce the likely social costs that will result from long-term isolation from friends and family.
Lower Hutt would be better prepared for crashes, road accidents (spills) and construction works.
There will be improved travel time reliability on the key arterial roads for buses, heavy commercial vehicles and general traffic which is likely to further support economic development in Lower Hutt, and encourage increased use of bus services. There will be more transport choices including the reduction of travel obstacles that some people may experience.
There will be improved walking, cycling facilities and micro-mobility access improvements at the Petone, Ava and Woburn Train Stations and connections to and from the Te Ara Tupua Walking and Cycling Project.
Where to next?
The next steps will include a single stage business case and then detailed design work (which ultimately sets out the alignment of the route etc).
The exact timing of the next steps is subject to future funding decision making processes, including those to be made through the future HCC's long-term plans, GWRC's regional land transport plans, and Waka Kotahi's national land transport plans.
For more information on this project you can download the:
Jon Kingsbury, Head of Transport
T: 04 570 6856