The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
March 2, 2011

Gerry Brownlee – please cancel Transmission Gully

That’s about it really.

There is a road proposal, with a cost to benefit ratio that flies out the window, for a road that goes up an earthquake fault line, is steeper for longer than Ngauranga Gorge, and is going to cost over a billion $$, which neither central nor local government has the money to finance. On a list of projects that need to be cancelled to pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch, I’d put this one right at the very top. Wouldn’t you?

Seamonkey Madness
2 - 03 - 11

YES!

That and Puhoi to Wellsford (Holiday) Highway.
Transportblog.co.nz has a much better alternative to a brank spanking new highway – Operation Lifesaver which has a much better BCR, will save lives in the interim and is many times less expensive than the full gung-ho P2W option.

Transmission Gully should never go ahead anyway, for exactly those reasons you outline above. Penny to a pound that the projected costs for TG will have risen to $2B by years ends. Also a safe bet is that the MSM (Dumb Post in particular) will gnash teeth/wring hands at the very thought of it being postponed or cancelled.

60 MPa
2 - 03 - 11

They should’ve done a clip-on to the existing road after Pukerua Bay by the sea but the silly buggers have gone and sold some of the land that was going to go behind the Bay there.
A small flyover for Paekakariki to reduce merging/crossing crashes wouldn’t be too much.
It’s already double lane up to Puk Bay and after McKay’s Crossing.

If we put a road through the Fisherman’s Table we could cut down on food poisoning too

davidp
2 - 03 - 11

On the other hand, we’re joined to the rest of the country by two low capacity roads that are extremely prone to landslips or worse. Christchurch has shown us just how vulnerable rail is to seismic activity and it cannot be relied on. If a Christchurch sized earthquake hits Wellington we’re looking at supplying the city by air until we start bringing in bulk supplies via the container terminal.

I’d like some more redundancy. I’m not sure TG is the appropriate scheme, but I think the issue needs study.

minimus
2 - 03 - 11

I’m with you on this one Maximus. I was just thinking of starting a facebook group (because we all know that’s how anything really gets done nowadays….)
There was a group of people asking that Lotto donate the prize to CHCH to which they responded they couldn’t do, but would donate the receipts from sales for a specific period to the effort. So maybe with a visible push we could get some activity.

I’ve donated some money already, but I’d definitely sign to give this 2 billion dollar infrastructure project to rebuilding christchurch.

m-d
2 - 03 - 11

Me too – where do I sign…?

Kent Duston
2 - 03 - 11

Count me in – perhaps an open letter to Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce might be an idea.

And while they’re in the mood for canceling white elephant projects, they might as well take the axe to the Basin Reserve flyover given that the congestion issues can probably be solved with a few tins of paint and some judicious traffic light re-phasing, now that traffic is nearly back to 2005 levels.

Spencer
2 - 03 - 11

And to top it off Transmission Gulley could pollute the region’s water.
http://wellingtontransport.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/transmission-gully-needs-exemption-from-freshwater-plan/

seaphorm
2 - 03 - 11

gerry is too busy cancelling public works that have broad public and local government support and proven benefits the nation’s economy… like the auckland rail loop. to even consider cancelling those projects that few want such as transmission gully or the basin flyover.

davidp
2 - 03 - 11

seaphorm>gerry is too busy cancelling public works that have broad public and local government support and proven benefits the nation’s economy… like the auckland rail loop

The Auckland Rail Loop has never been approved. So how can it be canceled?

Grant
2 - 03 - 11

he’s cancelling the possibility that Len Brown may have even had an IDEA of getting it approved. Way to crush a man’s heart… but then again, John Banks was the expected Mayor, not Len Brown, and so they don’t give a toss what Brown thinks.

How do we get a Facebook page up and running?

davidp
2 - 03 - 11

Grant>he’s cancelling the possibility that Len Brown may have even had an IDEA of getting it approved

“Cancelling the possibility” is grasping at a very tiny and distant straw.

I don’t think Brown requires anyone else’s approval. He has the means to finance it without any central government contribution and can start work on it whenever he likes.

The Rail Loop business case was based on the benefits of a steep increase in the number of people working in the CBD. A doubling over the next 30 years or so? Without this increase the benefits of the project were marginal. I suspect that one of the lessons from Christchurch is that concentrating a lot of business and jobs in a single place might be too risky. We’re stuck with the current Wellington and Auckland CBDs, but I don’t know if we should be looking at increasing the size of either of them.

Still, FaceBook is worth a try. A couple of months ago people were changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters to show their disapproval of child abuse and, miraculously, child abuse is almost unheard of now. Then at the weekend a FaceBook campaign told us to support Christchurch by wearing red and black and grateful Christchurch residents have said that the gesture lifted their spirits much more than sending money or portaloos would have. So go for it!

Denny
2 - 03 - 11

Hey Maximus – what road in the greater Wellington area isn’t near a faultline?

Gerry needs somewhere to put all our “Old Dungas” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/4715003/Lives-before-Christchurch-earthquake-damaged-historic-buildings … The Transmission incline sounds like a suitable place if you follow his thinking… However, suggesting he has the ability or decent commonsense to make a decision over this (or anything of cultural or urban importance) is rapidly appearing to be a case of putting the fox in charge of the hen-house. I’m in the undecided camp.

60MPa would like us to bugger up a bit of beautiful coastline like they have in Australia by running a motorway over beautiful coastline – great for roading engineers to strut their stuff but, having seen their example, I reckon it’s a gross answer… though putting an end to the FT isn’t too bad an idea!

How about we forget the Kapiti Coast – after all the population has an aged profile and doesn’t like the fast life of urban sprawl – and head east to head north – The Wairarapa needs it and it is currently the quickest way past Palmy on a Friday afternoon. The Hill is marginally higher the Transmission but already there…

Maximus
2 - 03 - 11

Denny – long time lurker, first time poster! Welcome aboard buddy….
“what road in the greater Wellington area isn’t near a faultline?”

You’re right – Wellington is either the gutsiest and most confident place in the world, for building its one and only main highway out of town directly on top of a well known active earthquake faultline…. or else one of the craziest and stupidest. It’s like : we know we have a problem coming up – let’s ignore it, and hope it doesn’t happen in our lifetimes. I shudder a little every time I go past the m’way at the Ferry terminal. That junction is the crucial one – cars, boats, trains, all caught up in the same spot. Apart from that, I’m fine with Wellington’s chances!

60 MPa
2 - 03 - 11

Max – I really like that first pic – looks a bit like Central Park? (the Brooklyn one)

Denny I agree that for getting North the best way is SH2, truck bypass behind MTN then cut through the Gorge and up SH54 to Vinegar Hill.

The problem is SH2 from town to the Hutt being on an active fault. I don’t want roads to bejesus but I’d like a safe egress from town in times of trouble?

I worry that Gerry (bless his cotton socks) will want to ram a few roads through seeing as a large group of Aucklanders told him not to mine the conservation estate.

Ah well, at least Winston is gone, daily I give thanks..

By the way Denny – if we were to go East to go North do you think that there would be more pressure to put a road tunnel through the Rimutakas?
I have a feeling that some Wairarapa folk would resist a road tunnel bringing with it the deluge of townies? Just a feeling.

Maximus
3 - 03 - 11

60 – i have not got the faintest idea what you are talking about. Truck bypass behind MTN? Where’s that? Vinegar Hill? Never heard of it – have you been on the turps? Please do explain. I thought there was only ever 2 routes out of Wellington – up the Coast, or through the ‘Rapa. Is there a third way?

On a separate matter – for those of you that like Gerry Brownlee and his bright ideas – there’s a great bit of discussion going on over at the Arch Centre website, with some very good points being raised re heritage:
http://architecture.org.nz/2011/03/02/old-dungas-to-go/

Maximus
3 - 03 - 11

oooh, and 60 – no, not Central Park – its actually Munnar, in Southern India, where apparently on a clear day you can see the “whole valley of Tamil Nadu” from here.
http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/India/South/Kerala/Munnar/photo140380.htm

I just liked it as a beautiful photo of a road to nowhere. Photographer goes by the name of oochappan, from belgium. Thanks Oochappan !

davidp
3 - 03 - 11

Max>its actually Munnar, in Southern India

Pah! I’d wondered why I’d never seen anything like that around Welly, had decided to find out where it was, and was going to plan a walk or a bicycle ride. Now I’ll have to stay home and do some cleaning.

Maximus
3 - 03 - 11

Still go out for that walk – i’m trying to remember where photo number 2 came from – and if it is real, or if it is just photoshop…

Flat White
3 - 03 - 11

While photo 2 might be a photoshop job, there are quite a few similar roads in Italy, where “Contractors” get a road building job, run out of money and just stop the road wherever they may be……….

60 MPa
4 - 03 - 11

Max, to head North when Otaki is jammed and you want a scenic run

Stata Highway 2 through Hutt over Rimutakas
Heavy Traffic Bypass to West of Masterton (turn off after Waingawa River, called Ngaumutawa Rd) – rejoins SH 2 in time for Mt Bruce
Left at Woodville, through Manawatu Gorge to Ashurst
Bunnythorpe to Fielding, pick up State Highway 54 through Cheltenham
SH 54 meets SH 1 after the dreaded speedtrap that is Hunterville and before the new alignment at Ohingaiti.
The point where SH 1 is met by SH 54 is called Vinegar Hill and, to quote Dave Barry, I am not making any of this up.

Seamonkey Madness
8 - 03 - 11

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4741700/Save-Transmission-Gully-pleads-Porirua-mayor

Nick Legget = selfish dipshit of the year.
I guess he doesn’t really care if MORE people hate him. He is an ex-real estate agent after all.

Maximus
8 - 03 - 11

Nick Leggett also being Mayor of Porirua – and yes, he is a little ill-informed. Same as Ian McKinnon. As far as I am aware, there is not the money for the project, and there never has been. The government confirmed it should go ahead, but wasn’t the agreement that major funding still had to come from local government? And that’s the bit that Mr Leggett just doesn’t get. Massive amounts to pay Mr L ! And where is it going to come from?

Plus – really basic stuff this one – how does a road massively bypassing Porirua help things in his town at all? Are people really going to connect to Porirua from the Trannie Gully by scooting along the extremely windy road that is the Pauatahanui Inlet? Oh please, come on….!

Kent Duston
9 - 03 - 11

With petrol prices now closing in on 2008’s highs, these Roads of National Party Significance are starting to look more and more like white elephants – or a really dumb “investment”, take your pick.

Not learning from history does seem to be a particular skill of politicians, but Joyce’s refusal to learn from a petrol price spike that occurred less than three years ago (when commuters flooded to public transport) seems like an exercise in deliberate perversity.

Maximus
9 - 03 - 11

On teh NZTA website, there doesn’t seem to be any projects in Wellington that are even ON their list, let alone decisions up for review. The last thing on their list is:
18 August 2010
NZTA (SH1)
Terrace Tunnel – approval to commence public engagement, detailed design and construction funding

There’s no funding for Trannie Gully yet.

Maximus
9 - 03 - 11

Although, their website also says:

“The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) intends to lodge regulatory consent applications with the Environmental Protection Authority for the Transmission Gully project in mid 2011. The current Phase 2 work, to gather information required for the lodging of the consent applications, is progressing and the project team is on track to meet the mid 2011 target.”

“The 27-km four-lane (two in each direction) Transmission Gully route runs from MacKays Crossing to Linden and is expected to cost $1.025 billion (2008 dollars) to build. There will be interchanges connecting the route to State Highway 58 and to Kenepuru with a connection to Kenepuru Drive. In addition, there will be two link roads from the eastern Porirua suburbs of Whitby and Waitangirua to the route. The Porirua City Council will be the authority responsible for the Whitby and Waitangirua link roads. The entire consenting process, using the EPA path, is expected to take approximately 12 months. If the regulatory consents are granted, the timetable for the project sees construction beginning in late 2014 and substantially completed by 2020.”