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Basin Reserve flyover

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, November 28th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: activism, transport - Tags: ,

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard the odd grumble in Wellington leftie circles about the proposed Basin Reserve flyover but until now haven’t really paid much attention. Nor, does it seem, have many others. The 3D artists’ projection above shows why we probably should.

According to the Save the Basin Reserve campaign, the NZ Transport Agency and the Greater Wellington Regional Council are planning:

“to build an enormous concrete flyover across the northern face of the Basin Reserve linking the entrance to the Mt Victoria tunnel on the eastern side with Buckle Street on the western side – along with a series of onramps and offramps to enable traffic to flow around the Basin. This huge concrete construction will be around 10 metres tall, will cost (we estimate) more than $50 million, and will completely ruin the Basin Reserve as a sporting and cultural venue.

Following the fiasco that was the Inner-City Bypass, this is yet another kick in the face to Wellington’s urban environment. But it’s not just about the Basin – in an age of peak oil and climate change we should be investing in public transport, not in more roads to fill with cars.

If you want to find out more or get involved in the campaign there’s more info here, And there are a couple more 3D models up on Scoop.

UPDATE: A good piece at NewsWire.co.nz

42 comments on “Basin Reserve flyover”

  1. deemac 1

    I thought the problem with the inner city bypass was that, because of pressure from the groups opposed to it, we were left with the ridiculous compromise of the bypass being at street level instead of in a tunnel that would have taken it away from local traffic and pedestrians, ie we are left with the worst of both worlds?

  2. bill brown 2

    I’m not sure what the road has to go around this place. Why not put the road through it and add light rail as well from the railway station, the land left over would be useful for an rail / bus interchange.

  3. Askewed 3

    Would be good to see Grant Robertson get stuck into this issue. The whole airport-ngauranga transport strategy is a shambles – there is no point building an overpass there if it will be bookended by small single lane tunnels and all duplication of the tunnels will achieve is encouraging people into their cars.

    It’s disappointing (but not at all surprising) that it is always the Greens who lead on these issues locally

  4. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4

    As a former batsman, I am all in favour of the fly-over. It will make it harder for the umpires to hear the faint edges from the bat:)

  5. Chris G 5

    sorry, why do we need this big bridge? Other than for the 4-5pm crawl of traffic around the basin, on weekdays.

    building more roads will not solve that, econ111 tells you that.

  6. QoT 6

    *blinks* Somebody please tell me that bill brown is joking. My sarcasm detector is broken today.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    From what I rember of Wellington driving, Askewed has nailed it… why build this super-duper autobahn when it’s fed by a ludicrous single lane tunnel (what idiot thought you could take multiple lanes from Ngauranga and the Hutt and stick them into a tunnel that size?!) and feeds into another creaky old tunnel built in the days when we had to turn a crank to start our cars?

    If they really want to spend $50 million easing congestion in that area, they’d be better off blowing a bloody great hole through the middle of Mt Victoria. They could recoup a lot of the cost by selling tickets, and holding a raffle to be the person who pushed the button.


  8. bill brown 8

    No I’m not being sarcastic. I know it’s unlikely we will get light rail in Wellington – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea. I would suppose that should we get such a thing in the future, an interchange in that area would be a good idea – after all it’s on the way to the airport, close to the hospital etc…

  9. Tane 9

    Dude… it’s the Basin Reserve.

  10. bill brown 10

    Yes, I know, I do live in Wellington.

  11. Wellington is not the only place with these problems. Dunedin wants to build an elevated round a bout over a rail way line so it can put a new stadium were the old road went.

  12. sweeetdisorder 12

    who cares, it wellington. If history is anything to go by, you will never solved your transport problems.

  13. bill brown 13


    I think you’ll find that the people who planned the Terrace Tunnel didn’t decide to make it that size, it was only half built, as were the approaches.

    I think the idiot you are looking for used to work in the beehive.

  14. QoT 14

    So … you know it’s the Basin Reserve, which is both a heritage site and one of the best darn cricket grounds *internationally*, and you don’t see a problem with proposing it as a site for a goddamned transport interchange?

  15. bill brown 15

    I wasn’t aware it was a heritage site, perhaps those parts could be preserved as part of the site, it wouldn’t hurt to have something a bit different for that.

    I find it hard to believe that it wouldn’t be possible to play your games at the stadium near the railway station – it’s not used all the time is it? And the parking’s better – not be mention being close to the train making it convenient.

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    Dude… it’s just a sport.

    Come to think of it, Athletic Park would be the perfect site for a multi-storey car park, with light rail connecting back to the city. So we we build a multi-lane freeway right through the middle of the Basin Reserve, park all the cars, and ferry people into the CBD.

    Hey, don’t thank me now, just name it after me when it’s built.

    *ducks to avoid a barrage of cricket balls*

  17. NickC 17

    Im stuck on this issue; I’ve got nothing againt more roads but I really hope this doesnt effect the cricket!

    Speaking of cricket we are about 100-1 against Aussie, what a turnaround!

  18. Billy 18

    My God. That looks dreadful.

  19. Felix 19

    What do they play at the basin reserve anyway?

    Edit: Oh, cricket. In that case I suggest concreting the whole thing and turning it into a skatepark/free graffiti zone for the kids.

  20. bill brown 20

    Felix, I think it’s only cricket, which seems a bit of a waste.

  21. Felix 21

    bill I agree. A lot of space just for people to stand around in the sun looking all nancy.

  22. vto 22

    bloody cars.

    honestly, they ruin so many living environments, be it streets (all vehicle little pedestrian), higher density housing (garages use the best outdoor ground thanks to council rules requiring parking), and now both basins and reserves.

    bloody cars should play second fiddle to the living scapes. if people want cars to get around then quite frankly they should get around subject to pleasant urbanity’s number one position. NOT the other way around as is the current situation NZ-wide.

    The dominance of cars today will be seen in the future as just plain dumb.

  23. bill brown 23

    vto, yes, you’re right, that’s why I think it would be a good opportunity to anchor a light rail service there.

    By the way – good to see you’re advocating to vto!

  24. Vanilla Eis 24

    I’m with Rex – a flyover won’t fix a thing if you’re going to run it straight into the Victoria tunnel as it currently is. Double-lane the tunnel in both directions and the rest of the road out as far as the Evans Bay Parade lights and see what that does for traffic flows.

    If that’s not enough, then the drivers of Wellington (myself included) can get bent, frankly.

  25. Chris G 25

    I too am with rex, however.

    Im sure I heard last time this got brought up that its not possible to expand the Vic tunnel. Something to do with the hill. Dont forget that houses and Wellington Easts are above it, that probably doesnt help the cause.

  26. vto 26

    If everyone just went faster into and through the tunnel I am sure the clog would declog.

  27. George Darroch 27

    “Would be good to see Grant Robertson get stuck into this issue”

    Best to go down to his office and help him build a campaign. He’s likely supportive, but he might need some encouragement (most MPs do).

    Sue Kedgely and Russel Norman need to get stuck into this too in a major way, if they’re going to try and ever stake their claims as ‘local MPs’.

  28. George Darroch 28

    “If everyone just went faster into and through the tunnel I am sure the clog would declog.”

    That is the problem, really. People are driving too slowly.

    Taking out those awful traffic lights that just make people stop, and a 100kph speed limit round the basin and into the tunnel would solve it.

  29. bill brown 29

    Chris G,

    Expanding the Vic tunnel has nothing to do with the hill but all to do with the houses. The pilot tunnel’s already there – in someone’s back yard.


    The problem with driving too fast through the tunnel is it doesn’t give you enough time to toot!

  30. vto 30

    Hey! Someone just fanged past me doing about 100ks and spun out on the corner! Now the place is really clogged

  31. Ron Shaw 31

    Wellington, like Auckland, has suffered from chronic underfunding of its transport network for years. The Terrace tunnel was designed to be two tunnels of 3 lanes and all the supports for the approaches to the second tunnel were built and now stand unused in the carparks behind the Terrace high rises. From the Terrace to the Basin was supposed to be motorway but years of delays and resistance from locals meant it was never built. The Basin flyover would have been built back then if the connecting motorway had gone ahead. The Mt Vic pilot tunnel was drilled to the North of the existing tunnel but the real tunnel was stopped because it was too expensive. Wellington’s dumbest move was getting rid of the trams [aka light rail] and now needs to face facts – forget roads and build a decent mass transit system. While they are at it Road Pricing [as pioneered by Red Ken Livingstone in London] would be a good idea to price the marginal journeys off the road.

  32. Felix 32

    Enough of the tooting.

  33. Nedyah Hsan 33

    Frankly, Im unconcerned about the basin  reserve flyover at this stage
    1) Its only a dream
    2) Any planning for it is still at least 3 years away
    3) it will have to be a submission process and if the vociferous make their voice heard, council has no choice but to back down.

    I take it you’re a Wellingtonian as well Tane? And many others on here –
    Why then, are people not so horrified at the councils plans to put a bloody great big road right through Manners Mall to make life easier for buses.
    Council wants this to remove the riff raff that hang around outside TimeZone and to make the area safer. Hah. What a laugh.
    Manners Mall could quite easily be turned into a restaurant precint, once the skody retail stores are gone. If Manners Mall disappears, there’s very little open space for people to go eat and get lunch… make a submission against it. Get buses down Wakefield Street – less traffic, both vehicular and foot. Wakefield is a perfect thoroughfare and provides easy access to waterfront and to courtenay place (Blair, Allen, Courtenay Central and Taranaki St could all be perfect locales for bus stops)

    In saying that, by all means, make a submission against the flyover, show your support against it – but protect Manners Mall first. That’s far more pressing and urgent – work is set to start in April next year if it goes through.

  34. What about the great game..? Peter Johns has got a point. And many a bowler – past and I should darned well hope present, too, would want to keep their competitive edge.. 🙂

  35. Mello C. 35

    I built a city with no roads on Sim City 2000 once. All subways and railways. It was the most successful city I ever built. It fucking ruled.

    Case = closed.

  36. Felix 36

    Manners Mall could quite easily be turned into a restaurant precint

    I’m sure we can think of something better than that. Why do people think that jamming a bunch of cheesy restaurants and bars together is a good thing?

  37. Chris G 37

    Mello C,

    That is awseome.

    Possible evidence in a submission against this big bridge?

  38. QoT 38

    Why do I get the feeling that if we were talking about Vaunted Rugby the cries of “Come <i>on</i>, it’s just a SPORT!” would be fewer?The Basin Reserve is a better location for cricket. It was good enough to be a site in EA Cricket 2005. It’s a heritage site, and dear God do I detest the notion that “we can just shunt around the heritage-y bits, it’s not like their context or continuing use is an important <i>part</i> of that heritage, right?”Tell you what, as a Wellingtonian who doesn’t own a car and hasn’t needed one in the four years I have … Come <i>on</i>, it’s just TRAFFIC!

  39. QoT 39

    XHTML appears to be borked, btw.

  40. richard maclean 40

    Greetings – a few comments from a staffer at the City Council:

    The people opposing the proposed flyover are employing the classic old ruse of working up drawing to make the proposal look as terrifying and gigantic as possible. The artist who knocked out the image you’re running has clearly decided the flyover is going to be designed by Mattel – ie that it’ll be a giant Hot Wheels track that’ll cross over the fence into the Basin Reserve itself.
    This, of course, is all rubbish designed specifically to mislead the public and scare the horses.
    The City Council, the Regional Council and NZTA are all quite fond of the Basin Reserve – so the suggestions that we will collectively do anything to ruin the Basin are also rubbish.
    Our aim is to do something useful about the growing traffic problems and public-transport bottleneck adjacent to the Basin Reserve. Doing nothing is not an option.
    In terms of the collective early approach to the proposals for traffic and public transport improvements around the ground, one of the bottom-line agreements is that the ambience and relative tranquility of the Basin Reserve will not be compromised.
    In conjunction with the Basin Reserve Trust, the City Council is a guardian of the ground and, as such, there is no logic in the claims that we would be party to any work around the Basin that would ruin its status as one of the world’s oldest and best cricket venues.
    The problem with the Basin is its location at the centre of a very large and busy traffic roundabout. Apart from the meeting of State Highways 1 and 2 at the foot of the Ngauranga Gorge, it is the region’s busiest traffic junction. Unlike the Ngauranga Gorge, however, the Basin roundabout is on the main bus route serving the city’s southern and eastern suburbs, and it has to also accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, cricket fans and the Basin’s neighbours including three schools and Government House.
    Despite the installation of traffic lights around the Basin, traffic congestion is steadily worsening, especially during rush-hours midweek and during the day at weekends. The conflict between State Highway 1 traffic heading to and from the Mt Victoria Tunnel, and traffic heading to and from the southern suburbs, means rush-hour travel is a misery for most – including bus passengers who are caught up in the snarl-ups.
    Doing nothing about the worsening congestion is not an option because we cannot realistically shift our principal east-west/north-south junction anywhere else.
    Anyone who has read Joseph Romanos’ and Don Neely’s great history of the Basin Reserve will know that it has been causing headaches for transport planners for decades.
    In the 1960s it was proposed that a tunnel be dug under the cricket ground to link Adelaide Road directly with Kent and Cambridge Terrace.
    The idea of a flyover beside the Basin, to carry east-west traffic over the north-south traffic, has been around since the 1970s at least. It was initially sunk as a concept in the early 1990s as the prospect of a full-fledged motorway linking the Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels dwindled mainly due to a lack of funding, but also due to genuine outrage from supporters of the Basin.
    The flyover idea re-emerged as part of the Ngauranga-Airport Transport Study commissioned by Transit NZ (now the NZ Transport Agency) and the City and regional councils. The study is the most comprehensive review of the transport needs of the city and region to date. It has taken two years and involved three stages of public consultation. This included a public survey that found that 67% of people supported a flyover adjacent to the Basin.
    It was discussed at a three-day design workshop held earlier this month by all three authorities. The workshop involved urban design and traffic experts and other stakeholders including a number of consultancy firms and the Basin Reserve Trust.
    This workshop produced a number of very preliminary designs that aim to separate east-west and north-south traffic and at the same time preserve the character and functionality of the Basin.
    A couple of the preliminary designs involve two-lane flyovers that would carry east-west traffic from the tunnel to Buckle Street and on to Karo Drive (the bypass).
    Other possible designs don’t involve grade separation – ie a flyover lifting traffic over the north-south route. However the fact that both sets of traffic would still meet at ground-level then means the challenge of improving flows is far more complicated.
    Without having any completed detailed plans to help explain the situation, a much larger intersection would have to be built just to the north of the Basin. Our urban designers and engineers believe it would be difficult for such an intersection to efficiently deal with traffic without seriously blighting the immediate area especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
    One of the other main advantages of a flyover would be its ability to simplify traffic flows, reduce the number of crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. It would also more effectively leave open the possibility that, in the future, light-rail tracks could be installed on the north-south route without the problem of trains/trams having to cross State Highway 1 – our principal east-west route.
    The Basin Reserve Trust has indicated that it supports improvements to traffic flow around the ground – including a possible flyover – provided there are adequate design features to mitigate its effects on the ground.
    Urban-design and traffic engineering experts from the City Council, NZTA and the Regional Council are currently working up the rough designs from the workshop into more detailed drawings that can be readily digested and understood by the general public.
    Suffice to say they’ll provide a more accurate and honest impression of what a possible flyover might look like than the image you’re currently using.

  41. QoT 41

    Thanks, richard – I wasn’t aware that everyone who’s opposed to the flyover is a credulous child swayed by nothing more than a single artist’s interpretation. It’s not like, oh, it’s a ridiculously overblown solution to a problem better addressed by increasing public transport, or reducing the number of cars on the roads.

    I mean, after the fantastic success of the bypass, who could POSSIBLY question the Council’s wisdom in constructing big, shiny things for insane amounts of money?

  42. headlessrd 42

    I’d say that the biggest point made by the group is that 79% of submissions mentioning the flyover(roughly 4000) were in opposition to its construction.
    The regional council is effectively ignoring these submissions.

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