Transmission Gully delays taking their toll on locals

Calls are mounting for a concrete completion date for Transmission Gully.

Wellington's billion-dollar roading project has been plagued by delays - and the hold-up is taking its toll.

Wakefields Lawyers' Paraparaumu branch is ready to expand. The firm set up an office there, along with two more in Otaki and Foxton, in 2018.

"That decision was based quite a lot on the Transmission Gully," lawyer Amy Webster told Newshub.

Transmission Gully is a 27km alternative motorway between Wellington and Kapiti. It's expected to reduce travel time by 10 to 15 minutes.

But hold-ups are hampering the firm's plan to grow further.

"It's just delaying the positive impact that the road will bring and that includes job opportunities for local lawyers," Webster says.

Growth isn't the only thing taking a bit of a hammering.

There's been a wave of people buying homes on Kapiti Coast ahead of the road's completion - but for some the hold-up's delaying their move.

"Their number-one gripe for not coming out here is the travel time, so if they're being told Transmission Gully is being delayed for who knows how long that's gonna make them think twice about buying on the Kapiti Coast," real estate agent Sanele Chadwick.

Construction started in September 2014 - with an $850m price tag. With a completion date of April 2020 work ramped up in 2015 and 2016.

Then the Kaikoura Quake hit. That - coupled with the weather - delayed completion until November this year.

COVID's pushed that into 2021 - and the price has blown out to $1b.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is still negotiating exactly when that completion date will be. In the meantime, crews have agreed to work through the winter.

Porirua mayor Anita Baker is echoing the frustration in her community.

"For the rest of us we'd just like to know upfront when it's going to finish," she says.

"I see the signs are still saying it's opening November 2020. That's obviously wrong. Change the signs, tell us the truth and then we can all move on."

Signs promising a dream that is proving to be just that.