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Get your Feedback in on the Future of the Wellington St on-ramp

The NZTA has currently been doing some consultation on whether the Wellington St on-ramp should re-open and the chance for feedback closes on Friday so if you have a view make sure you get your thoughts in. The whole thing has been a bit of a saga so it would be good to get a final decision, whatever the outcome.

The NZ Transport Agency is reminding Aucklanders they still have an opportunity to make their views known on whether the Wellington Street on-ramp, one of the city’s entries to the busy Central Motorway Junction, should re-open to general traffic.

Feedback closes next Friday, 13 July. Information on how people can contribute to the debate is available on the NZTA website at www.nzta.govt.nz/consultation/wellington-street-on-ramp.

‘We’re really pleased with the impressive response we have had so far, but we will certainly welcome more,” says the NZTA’s acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton. “The greater the number of people who have their say, the better placed we are to make a well informed decision about the on-ramp’s future use.”

The NZTA and Auckland Transport are currently evaluating more than 500 responses already received from people close to Wellington Street, and from drivers on both sides of the harbour.  Mr Mutton says the submissions include arguments both in favour of re-opening the on-ramp and keeping it closed.

“The NZTA does not have a view either way.  That is why it is important people speak up during this first stage of a very important transport debate that has wide-ranging and long-term impacts for both the communities living near Wellington Street, and motorway drivers in general,” he says.

The feedback will be assessed as part of a review being undertaken by the NZTA and Auckland Transport. Traffic data is being collected from local roads and the motorway to be used as part of that review. Mr Mutton says that there will be another opportunity for the community to respond when the review findings are published in August.

The Wellington Street on-ramp has not been open to general traffic since May 2011 when it was re-built as part of the Victoria Park Tunnel project.  It was the NZTA’s intention to reopen the on-ramp. However, early indications are that Auckland’s roading network may be operating better with it closed.

“The NZTA and Auckland Transport want to understand this better,” Mr Mutton says.  “There’s no preferred view at this stage on how the on-ramp should operate. This is the chance to understand how we could make the network run better and we have an obligation to explore that fully. It is really important to us in developing our view that we understand the community’s views too.”

One thing that has been interesting is that previously, the agency wouldn’t really give an answer as to why it should have been rebuilt or how much it cost.  Yet in their FAQs on the project, they say that it had always been needed for emergency access and that the southern approach to the tunnel cost a total of $13.7m. Why could they not have made these two things clearer earlier?

A map of the study area the NZTA/AT are looking at

6 comments to Get your Feedback in on the Future of the Wellington St on-ramp

  • Mr Anderson

    Whatever the final outcome is, this has been handled abysmally by NZTA. As you say in your post, why couldn’t they let us know earlier how much the onramp cost to rebuild?

    Also, why has it never been explained why the onramp hasn’t reopened? One can guess that it would put too many cars into the tunnel causing congestion on the motorway, but why haven’t NZTA ever explained this? It’s almost like they want to get people to submit asking for the ramp to be reopened, because they’ve never explained what the advantages of leaving it closed might be.

    I’m guessing that it’ll be reopened, but at peak times the ramp signal will be on a pretty slow cycle to ensure the tunnel doesn’t overload. Goodness knows why they couldn’t have done that back in March.

    • James B

      I think that would be a good compromise. I think the ramp signals are pretty crappy at the best of times. I’ve seen them on really fast cycles when the motorway has been chocka and other times they have been slowly letting cars through unto free flowing motorways.

  • Marwan

    There is merit in opening it up in peak and off peak times. First of all it will not disrupt traffic at all in off peak times, so like 21 hours a day. And during the 3.30 – 6.30pm peak have a slow cycle.

    Simple.

  • Ari

    Yay, back to Wellington St being all blocked up in the afternoon and pedestrians being run over on the footpaths.

  • Geoff Houtman

    Open it.

    It’ll keep the eastern side of Western Bays happy and show once and for all whether this $400+ million dollar tunnel works.

    It’d be embarrassing if 3 lanes doesn’t work where 2 lanes did…

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