Transmission Gully opening delayed thanks to COVID-19 outbreak

The opening of the Transmission Gully motorway north of Wellington has been pushed back thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the recent lockdown, alert level restrictions and supply chain constraints, the ribbon cutting on September 27 is off the table.

"I'm really frustrated. I realise we've had a lockdown and a few issues but we still don't have any date announcement and I want that opened before Christmas," Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says.

Waka Kotahi, the contractor and builder are now working on a new opening date.

"I think we'd be happier if they were upfront about it and someone said 'it's going to be this long'", says Whitby Residents Association chair Chris Darnell.

But documents obtained by Newshub reveal Waka Kotahi and the contractor were warned in June that the September 27 opening date would not be achieved.

On June 17 independent reviewer Aurecon wrote a letter to Waka Kotahi and Wellington Gateway Partnership "which noted the Independent reviewer's view that stage 1 works completion would not be achieved by 27 September 2021".

Construction began in 2014 and it was due to be finished in April last year, but has been hampered with delays. The cost also blew out from $850 million to $1.2 billion.

Darnell says it's a "huge mess".

All transport projects across the country have been impacted by the current COVID-crisis.

"Locking us down and locking out skilled labour for projects like this really does slow everything down and the economic drag is something we can't afford", says Nick Leggett from Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

Transmission Gully construction workers Newshub spoke to say they are aiming for completion in mid-October.