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Transmission Gully to transform Porirua

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Four Porirua mayors gather for the opening. From left, Anita Baker, Nick Leggett, Jenny Brash and John Burke.

Since the idea for Transmission Gully first emerged, which was well back into the last century, there have been enough quality reports, financial audits, press releases, newspaper articles and letters to the editor on the subject that, if you laid them end to end, would easily exceed in length the 27km of the road itself.

The motorway that finally welcomed motorists last week has been a prominent feature of local debates for as long as I can remember. For much of that time, it seemed like a pipe dream that would never go further than the design phase – and, even after it was announced, it’s been the subject of intense scrutiny, not to mention discontent, with issues like endless delays and an overly complicated ownership model that’s bamboozled everyone involved, up to and including the people who came up with it.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the blessing and official opening of Transmission Gully last week, and especially enjoyed being joined by three of my mayoral predecessors – Nick Leggett, Jenny Brash and John Burke – who have been tireless champions of the project for decades.

Transmission Gully will further cement Poirua’s place at the economic, geographical and demographic heart of the Wellington region. The motorway connects into Porirua at several points, greatly easing congestion, slashing travel times, and creating an altogether vastly improved motoring experience. If you haven’t gone for a drive yet, I strongly recommend doing so. If you’re currently in isolation with Covid or as a contact, you don’t need to miss out on the excitement. There’s no shortage of flyover videos on YouTube and Waka Kotahi’s website that really give you a sense of the scale, ambition and transformational potential of the road.

Long before Transmission Gully opened, the many advantages to Porirua were well understood. Today, it’s helping propel something of a boom in new business startups, even with the pandemic hanging over our heads. At a time when hospitality businesses are suffering, one entrepreneur sees so much potential in the city he’s opening a pop-up bar in the city centre, soon to be a permanent fixture, called Abandoned Brewery.

Likewise, the Stihl Shop and FS Cycles are making Porirua their new home, and perhaps most significantly of all, the industrial laundry company Alsco has already made Porirua its base for the lower North Island, in direct recognition of Transmission Gully’s benefits for the seamless movement of goods and people.

Seeing this superb road finished is a testament to all the designers, contractors and Waka Kotahi and Porirua City Council staff that have been involved in this project over the years.

Combined with the trend towards working closer to home, this brand new motorway with a very long history is sure to fuel even more local economic growth and new investment – we know that, because it’s already happening.

6 Apr 2022