Can We Still Afford Highway?


A Wellington region local body candidate has raised an interesting question as to whether it’s timely to review some of the big roading projects.
Kapiti Coast District Council candidate Janet Holborow (left) is calling for an immediate review into the affordability of the proposed Sandhills Expressway in light of the $4 billion cost to the national economy of the Canterbury earthquake and $1.6 billion bailout of South Canterbury Finance.
“It’s highly imprudent to spend $500 million on an expressway when we already have an option for a $120 million route ready to go which would relieve traffic along the existing highway by around 40%,” she said.
And in the light of fresh thinking about Wellington’s vulnerability to quakes, she said the Sandhills Expressway will provide little benefit to the Wellington region in the event of a major shake.
“If priority must be given to a particular route, the Minister would be better off fast-tracking the long-mooted Tranmission Gully, which would provide a second corridor north of Wellington.”
Sandhills Expressway (Mackays Crossing to Peka Peka) bypasses the existing State Highway 1 from either south of Poplar Avenue or 200 Main Road South through to an interchange connection at Peka Peka. The option sees the state highway expressway built along the currently designated western link route, with the current state highway becoming a local road through the district.
Transport minister Steven Joyce has said the chosen option will preserve the townships of both Waikanae and Paraparaumu and will ensure local railway stations continue to be easily accessible for local rail commuters.
He puts the cost of the Sandhills Expressway as being between $380 and $500 million, and said it also results in a much smaller number of properties (20 – 50) affected than would have been the case with either of the two other corridor options considered and consulted on publicly.




  1. Nick Fisher says:

    Mr Joyce is misinformed if he really thinks only 20 -50 properties are affected by his extravagence.
    Thousands of Kapiti properties have lost hundreds of thousands in dollar value since the announcement of the new route. This totals around $500M easily making this the most expensive option as well as the most destructive, compared with upgrading rail, upgrading SH1 and building the WLR. We will not allow this motorway to happen. Labour has pledged to overturn the decision.


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