With Resource Consent Lodged, RiverLink is Gaining Momentum
Reaching consent lodgement is a major step forward for RiverLink.
Lower Hutt’s massive RiverLink redevelopment is estimated at $700 million and is the biggest infrastructure project in Lower Hutt’s history.
Project partners will be working together (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), Greater Wellington, Hutt City Council, Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa Rangatira) to deliver a new interchange Melling road bridge, relocated Melling train station representing the NZ Upgrade Programme alongside the flood protection works, a new pedestrian and cycleway bridge and network and city-edge revitalisation to transform Lower Hutt into a true ‘River City’.
It’s vital that businesses based in Lower Hutt and people transiting through Lower Hutt are aware of the sheer scale of this project. This is a major redevelopment and some disruption to business will be inevitable. The Hutt Valley Chamber is working closely with the RiverLink team to ensure the business community is aware of what is going on and when, so business can best plan for it.
We talked to Tom Newson, RiverLink’s new Project Director on 3 August, to get the latest update.
RiverLink is such a huge and complex infrastructure project, meaning each stage necessitates a different level of expertise at the helm. Right now, consent has been lodged and it’s time to deliver. My background happens to be in major infrastructure delivery. One of my earlier project deliverables was the Newmarket viaduct in Auckland. This project had a lot of similarities to Riverlink, with plenty of construction going on in a reasonably confined, urban environment.
Like RiverLink, at the heart of that project was a business community, rail, road and pedestrian traffic. In that project there was also the necessity of keeping all those elements moving throughout the construction process, with minimal disruption.
So what’s the latest?
Application for the notice of requirement and resource consents for the construction and operation of the RiverLink components was lodged with Greater Wellington as the lead regulator, and supported by Hutt City Council, on Friday, 30 July.
A four-week review process is now underway for Greater Wellington to assess the application, ensure it’s appropriate and formally accept the application. Currently the 3000+ page application is available on the RiverLink project website for people to view.
Right now, what’s probably of most interest to business is the ‘Project Description’ which provides a detailed overview of the project in Chapter 4 of the Assessment of Environmental Effects. You can see all the information here, along with links to the Greater Wellington Regional Council submissions webpage the process.
What we’re consenting is a proposed designation boundary with an indicative design. There is further design work to do and additional investigation work subject to a favourable decision and in parallel with the hearing process, we will move into the procurement process. At that stage we’ll be working with constructors and designers to develop the final detailed design and specification in readiness for construction.
Find out more and meet the RiverLink Project Team
Many people don’t have the time for extensive reading of this magnitude, so Hutt Valley business people are invited to come along to the next RiverLink event at the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce on 2 September. The RiverLink team will be there, along with representatives from Waka Kotahi, Greater Wellington, Hutt City Council, Mana Whenua and of course, the Chamber of Commerce. Bring your questions and find out what you can expect as the project evolves.
This is an opportunity for business to reach out if they have any objections or concerns and get on board with upcoming opportunities.
The RiverLink team from left to right: L to R: Emma Speight (Director Regional Relationships Wellington, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency), Daran Ponter (Chair Greater Wellington), Mayor Campbell Barry (Hutt City Council), Kim Skelton Chair Mana Whenua Steering Group (Mana Whenua partners – Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Taranaki Whānui ki to Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust).
During construction and once completed, RiverLink will offer plenty of opportunities to the Hutt Valley business community.
A level of disruption is inevitable, and the RiverLink team is working to minimise any inconvenience to the business community by putting conditions in place around how the work will be carried out.
The RiverLink project was formally notified on 25 August 2021 which means that consents for RiverLink have been lodged with Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council to jointly process.
Sending a formal submission. All the information you need on the formal submission process is here: haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/riverlink-consent. Submissions close on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 at 5:00pm.
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