The NZ Transport Agency expects to lodge its application in March next year for the preferred Transmission Gully route with the new Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
State Highways Manager, Wellington, Rob Whight says the EPA process is expected to last nine months, with an option to extend to 18 months.
NZTA needs to shift some parts of the designated alignment of the new 27 kilometre road, which is to offer an alternative route to the current State Highway One from Linden to Mackays Crossing, south of Paraparaumu. Resource consents also need to be obtained mainly relate to water (bridges/culverts etc).
Mr Whight says one of the benefits of the new EPA process is that the shorter timeframe for considering consent applications provides local residents and other interested or affected parties with more certainty about the outcome.
He says NZTA is currently focussing on pre-application work in preparation to lodge the project with the EPA. Specimen design and tenders for construction would be the next stages, if the EPA approves the $1.025 billion route.
The Government has announced the new highway is part of one of the Roads of National Significance, planned to be constructed or upgraded over the next 10 years. The Transmission Gully route is part of the Government’s plan for a strategic roading upgrade of State Highway 1 between Wellington airport and Levin, which will reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth.