Aotea Quay is a critical part of the road network in Wellington, providing a key northern connection to State Highways 1 and 2 from the city centre, as well as being the main access route to CentrePort.
Our investigations and planning identified four problems:
- Unreliable bus travel times resulting in a poor customer experience for existing and potential bus users, which reduces the attractiveness of and ability to grow travel by bus.
- Cycling facilities that result in conflict between users, increase risk, and limit cycling attractiveness for increasing volumes of cyclists.
- The poor quality of the street environment creating an unpleasant experience, making it less attractive to walk and spend time in the area.
- High and growing traffic volumes, combined with high speeds, increasing the likelihood and severity of crashes.
Forecasted future growth in public transport usage, as well as plans to upgrade the Kaiwharawhara ferry terminal (to begin construction in mid-2023), will result in changes in demand along Hutt Road and Aotea Quay. Because of its ramp connection with the state highway, Hutt Road, without intervention, will face increased congestion as the direct link into the ferry terminal.
Our planning then recommended the following preferred technical solution:
- Southbound and northbound bus lanes on Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road
- A bidirectional cycleway on Thorndon Quay
- Left-in/Left-out property access on Hutt Road (right turns prohibited by formation of a central median), and
- Construction of a roundabout on Aotea Quay (to provide a turnaround facility for northbound vehicles and to facilitate the removal of ferry traffic from Hutt Road by enabling a direct connection to/from the state highways)
As part of the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project, we are replacing the existing signalised intersection at the container terminal yard along Aotea Quay with a metered roundabout 28m in diameter. The metered roundabout was agreed upon as the preferred solution by Wellington City Councillors in a traffic resolution in August 2022.
Constructing the roundabout at Aotea Quay will be the first step in helping us to address existing problems identified along the Thorndon Quay Hutt Road corridor, the predicted growth in public transport usage, traffic volumes, and plans to upgrade the Kaiwharawhara ferry terminal.
The proposed Aotea Quay roundabout will reduce the amount of freight and ferry traffic on Hutt Road by allowing these vehicles to stay on State Highway 1.
Getting to and from the ferry terminal
To get to the ferry terminal at Kaiwharawhara from the north, vehicles will be able to use State Highway 1 instead of Hutt Road.
TR133-22 - Aotea Quay, Pipitea - proposed roundabout and changes
What the proposed roundabout on Aotea Quay could look like
Where the proposed roundabout on Aotea Quay would go
Where does this fit:
Interislander (KiwiRail) are in the process of procuring two new, larger ferries which will increase the capacity of the vital transport link between the North and South Islands.
The new ferries will be nearly 40 metres longer and at least five metres wider than the current vessels, to meet the expected freight and passenger growth over the next 30 years. The two new ferries will be able to carry twice as many passengers as the current three-ship fleet, 300% more rail wagons and almost double the number of trucks and other vehicles.
Greater ferry capacity will lead to an increase in traffic requiring access to and from Kaiwharawhara. To and from the north, Hutt Road alone provides this access. Post-construction, the roundabout will ensure much of that traffic is using the State Highways rather than Hutt Road. The project team is working closely with all interested parties to have a coordinated approach for construction activities.