RE-BLOG SAVE THE BASIN: 310 Extra Heavy Trucks A Day Through Mt Victoria Tunnel – How Does That Sound?

Re-blogged from Save the Basin (Tim Jones)

Up to 310 extra heavy trucks a day rumbling from quarries in Horokiwi and Ngauranga, down State Highway 1, through the Terrace Tunnel, past the Basin Reserve, through the Mt Victoria Tunnel, and on through residential streets to Wellington Airport, day and night, for up to 3 years – and then rumbling back.

That’s what Wellington International Airport Ltd wants to inflict on Wellington’s residents and ratepayers. They are seeking $90 million from Wellington City Council, and more again from other Wellington-region councils and central government, to extend Wellington Airport runway 363 metres into Lyall Bay. And their resource consent application makes it clear the scale of the disruption their plans will entail.

There are many arguments against this plan – and you will find a lot of them on the Guardians of the Bays website. But even people who may not be opposed to a runway extension per se need to pay attention to the construction traffic implications, because they are serious both for road users and for those living near the planned route who value their lifestyle – and their sleep.

If you like a long read, Technical Report 9 is the core of the matter. This shows that the airport company wants to run up to 30 trucks an hour – that’s up to one truck every two minutes – through their central Wellington route during these times:

  • 9:30am to 2:30pm weekdays; and
  • 10:00pm to 6:00am weekdays.

So, in trying to avoid peak-hour and school pickup traffic, the airport company has opted for truck movements throughout the night instead. And it’s not just on State Highway 1 – the current plan envisages those trucks rumbling down suburban streets in Kilbirnie and Rongotai as well: day after day, night after night.

Right now, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington and the airport company are batting the resource consent application back and forth. The Councils have expressed serious concern about the airport company’s construction traffic plans, and there may yet be changes before the resource consent application is publicly notified.

But unless the airport company’s plans change radically, you might want to ask yourself: does the Wellington transport system really need another 310 heavy trucks going back and forth a day? And do I want those trucks rumbling through my suburb? And if your answer is “no”, then you might want to make a submission about that when you get the chance in a few weeks’ time.

In the meantime, you can:


  1. Tehnical Report #10 illustrates the routes these trucks will be travelling on. There has been no discussion as to how traffic congestion will be avoided in the daytime hours. The rumbling of empty trucks meandering all the way back to the Quarry will be a real concern. Nothing seems to matter when it comes to chasing the almighty dollar!


    1. You are very right, Stan. This will indeed impact 1000s of people in Wellington who live along the route or will be stuck in more congested roads.


  2. First time to this page so please excuse my ignorance if this has been addressed elsewhere but has any consideration been given to the increase of traffic to and from the airport as a direct result of all these extra bums in planes that the airport is decreeing will turn up.

    I have travelled the road from the Eastern Suburbs to the city nearly every single day since 2005 and the number of taxis with 1 passenger on board during peak travel is massive and increasing, clearly most of them are from the airport.
    How many more cars is this going to put on that section of road every day once the extension is complete?

    Not until we have secured a proper route to/from the motorway and city should this extension even be considered.


    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. You are absolutely right, this is indeed one of the many concerns that have been insufficiently addressed by the airport so far. They are also ignoring the very real threat that sea-level rise and liquefaction pose on both our major access roads to the airport – Cobham Drive and Moa Point Road. That, together with the amount of heavy trucks congesting SH1, the tunnels, the airport gates and the Basin is a big reason why this project is going to impact on a large number of Wellingtonians.


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