The Memorial Park Alliance is advising motorists that as construction at Buckle Street progresses, the top of Tory Street will temporarily become a cul de sac for vehicles after Christmas.
NZ Transport Agency Wellington state highways manager Rod James says that as crews get ready for the construction of the underpass next year, drivers heading for Buckle or Tasman streets will no longer be able to get there via Tory Street from Thursday 27 December.
Mr James says the very top end of Tory Street – above Mt Cook School – will be closed to through traffic for about five weeks while the Alliance does essential work on the new Buckle Street diversion road. The temporary road is being constructed to carry SH1 traffic while the Buckle Street tunnel is built.
“We’re nearly done building the temporary road, and we need to shut the top of Tory St to vehicles so we can put the road across the Tory Street section and move the traffic lights.
“It may be a temporary road, but it’s going to be carrying high volumes of state highway traffic for two years, so we need to make sure it’s a top notch road with built-in traffic signals.”
“We recognise that this will be a headache for some travellers, and we’re grateful to Wellingtonians for putting up with a little disruption so we can get on with making Memorial Park a reality. We’ve deliberately waited until after the Boxing Day sales, that way people can get used to these changes after the Christmas rush dies down and commuter and school traffic is at its lowest.”
Mr James says people will still be able to drive up Tory Street to get to all the shops, businesses and apartments, and the temporary closure will not affect cyclists or pedestrians. There will be a cycle and walking route through to Buckle and Tasman streets and detours in place for vehicles.
Motorists driving from the city to Tasman St will need to go around the Basin Reserve and use Rugby Street.
The new Buckle Street diversion road is expected to open in late January. At that stage, drivers will again be able to get on to Buckle Street from Tory Street. Vehicle access to Tasman Street will continue to be via Rugby Street.
Further traffic changes are expected in late January as the Alliance prepares to shift traffic onto the temporary road to enable the underpass to get underway.
For more information, check nzta.govt.nz/memorial-park, phone 0800 020 086 or email email@example.com.