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Friday, 28 March 2014

SH58: the case for upgrading Haywards

The time to upgrade SH58 is now.
Transport Blog has a guest post by Michael Dickens on the proposed Petone-Grenada link road. Michael takes a strong line against the link road. I'm not so much anti-link road but more pro upgrading SH58 (Haywards Hill road) first.

However, Michael does make excellent points:
Transmission Gully Road intersects SH58 at Judgeford, making it only 7km from SH2 and Upper and Lower Hutts. This is significant because moving the main Northern Wellington motorway corridor east, now means the dynamics have changed. Petone is now 19km from Judgeford whether you go via Haywards or via the new link – but there are big differences… 
However the fact that SH58 has an easier climb, 5.8% and 122m from SH2 versus 9% and 290m on Petone to Grenada, (SH2 is flat) means SH58 will be the road of choice for traffic coming or going north from the Hutt, including Petone & Seaview .

The extra traffic siphoned off onto SH58, means the loss of Petone bound traffic on the Linden section of SH1. This will also have the added benefit of easing the morning queues for traffic turning left at the bottom of the Gorge.
What this means is more traffic on SH58. That means the upgrade is needed now, before Transmission Gully is completed. Michael concludes:
Do the upgrade on SH58, Judgeford to Haywards with a split level intersection onto SH2. Both to take the extra traffic and improve its safety. It was given consents for this purpose 10 years ago.
I understand the consents were still in place back in 2007, when planning for the upgrade started. There was even $1.69m allocated to planning, although NZTA has told me that they don't think this will happen "for another 10 years" - years after Transmission Gully is completed.