Basin Reserve Tunnel Option Sought


A tunnel for the Basin Reserve and Buckle Street sections of SH1 is the way to go, according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A committee meeting has decided to urge the government to consider an underground option after reports that Buckle Street is to be trenched under the new Memorial Park.

The Chamber’s CEO, Charles Finny, says it makes sense to investigate the possibilities of continuing the tunnel past the Basin rather than building a flyover in between two tunnels.

“While the tunnel option may cost more, it’s  likely to be the best solution in the longer term. It is also the quickest and easiest in terms of consent as it would impact on fewer people and be least disruptive visually.

“We have learned from the Karo Drive Bypass mistake the costs of taking shortcuts. The decision not to trench that section of State Highway One is one that road users and pedestrians are already regretting due to ongoing traffic delays and environmental costs.

“The Wellington economy relies on an efficient transport system to improve the flow of goods and services and people. This is also a crucial part of the “road of national significance” connecting the airport to the lower North Island.“

He said that as the population grows, then more and people are going to use this stretch of road and so it’s important to make the decision in the long- term interests of the region and the country.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, if light rail isn’t be built to the Airport or Newtown then the upgraded roads should have the least impact on heritage stadiums, the environment and urban form…

  2. Grant says:

    I have supported this proposal from the start…but with a slightly different approach. I would tunnel a link between Kent and cambridge Tce, passing under the Basin to Adelaide road…ie North South. This would allow the Buckle Street to tunnel connection to run at ground level. Construction would be disruptive to the Basin- it would have to be dug up for a cut and cover project- but once finished, you wouldn’t know the road was there.

  3. Brent C says:

    I believe that spending a little more money on this project now will have far greater benefits to the future environment around the area. I am aware that residents in Mt Victoria and Te Aro will be fighting for an underground option. It would be a shame for the urban environment if a flyover was constructed on the cheap.

    Where I do have reservations with the underground option is my personal hope that in the future there could be a light rail system running underneath the Basin in a cut and cover approach. But if a tunnel is constructed for the road, then the existing road space may be acceptable enough to run light rail cars on the Mt Vic side of the Basin. However this would result in the re-shuffling of the road system in the area.


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