Council welcomes decision to open the Expressway
Kāpiti Coast District Council welcomes the decision by the NZ Transport Agency to open the Mackays to Peka Peka section of the Kāpiti Expressway this month.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the expressway will be a much-appreciated addition to the Kāpiti Coast.
“It will improve the district’s resilience and reduce travel times to the north and south. Kāpiti will become a more desirable place for people to live, visit and do business and this will strengthen our growing economy,” he says.
“We’re already beginning to see an increasing number of people and businesses looking to call Kāpiti home.”
Chief Executive Pat Dougherty says the Council has enjoyed a positive working relationship with the NZ Transport Agency and the Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) Alliance throughout the project.
“The decision to become a member of the M2PP Alliance gave us the best opportunity to articulate the community’s preferences in a forum where it was able to directly and positively influence the project outcomes,” he says.
“It’s allowed us to take an active part in decision making at the board table and to advocate for and protect the community and district’s interests throughout the project.”
The Council’s representation on the Alliance has also enabled Kāpiti staff to impart local knowledge and advice, raise issues and foresee threats and opportunities, Mr Dougherty says.
“Separate from our regulatory function, we’ve been able to influence design and construction decisions that will have a long-lasting impact on the community, local economy and environment.”
Funding has been made available through FutureKāpiti, the Council’s Long term plan 2015-35, to ensure the district capitalises on the opportunities provided by the Expressway. This includes work to transform the district’s two largest town centres, Paraparaumu and Waikanae, and improve the access and amenity of key commuter corridors.
Group Manager Infrastructure Sean Mallon says it is expected that traffic patterns and volumes will change on the district’s local roads as people get used to using the expressway interchanges and traffic diverts from the existing state highway to the expressway.
“We’ve already made a series of improvements to key local roads in preparation for the expressway opening to traffic but it will take time for people to get used to the new road layouts,” Mr Mallon says.
“State Highway 1 will remain a key route for people living and working locally and we encourage people to stick to the routes they know in the first few weeks of the expressway opening.”
7 February 2017