Aotea Quay roundabout designs and traffic resolution

As part of the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project, we’re planning construction of a roundabout on Aotea Quay to replace the existing signalised intersection.

About this project

The Thorndon Quay & Hutt Road project seeks to deliver improvements to the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road corridor, targeting public transport and active travel.

A roundabout on Aotea Quay will improve safety for all modes of travel on Hutt Road by:

1.     providing a safe turning location for all vehicles (trucks in particular) that want to travel north from a property on Hutt Road.

2.     providing direct access to the ferry terminal from State Highway 1, thereby reducing the amount of freight and ferry traffic on Hutt Road by allowing these vehicles to stay on the highway.

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 design of a roundabout adjacent to the Mainfreight entrance was originally proposed in 2014. Through the Let's Get Wellington Moving programme, and the approval of the Single Stage Business Case by all three partners this year, the funding is now available for a safe turning solution to be built. 

We have been engaging with directly affected stakeholders at Aotea Quay about our proposals and to gather technical information for incorporation into the design.

Now we are sharing the design proposals and engaging with our communities and stakeholders on the traffic resolution needed for the roundabout design.

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  

Project Background

The Thorndon Quay Hutt Road (TQHR) corridor (including Aotea Quay) is a critical part of the road network in Wellington providing a key northern connection to State Highway 1 and 2 from the city centre as well as the main access route to Centreport. 
This corridor carries a significant number of people and goods on a daily basis and is the busiest bus route outside the Golden Mile and the busiest cycle route in the Wellington Region. 
In October 2020, the Thorndon Quay Hutt Road Single Stage Business Case (SSBC) was completed to address problems along the Thorndon Quay Hutt Road corridor. The SSBC identified four problems along the corridor:  

  • Unreliable bus travel times result in a poor customer experience for existing and potential bus users which reduces the attractiveness of and ability to grow travel by bus.
  • The current state of cycling facilities results in conflict between users, increases risk, and limits cycling attractiveness for increasing volumes of cyclists.
  • Poor quality of the street environment creates an unpleasant experience for a growing volume of people reducing its attractiveness to walk and spend time in the area.
  • High and growing traffic volumes combined with high speeds increases the likelihood and severity of crashes. 

These problems were identified through investigations showing the over representation of cycle users in crash casualties and the lack of dedicated road space for cyclists and buses along Thorndon Quay.  
This together with the growing demand for travel on Hutt Road, across a range of modes, means there is limited space to accommodate all modes.   
This is evidenced by congestion present at some of the main intersections along Hutt Road resulting in delays to all traffic including time critical travel modes such as bus and ferry/port freight operations.  
Forecast future growth in public transport usage and plans to upgrade the Kaiwharawhara ferry terminal will result in changes in demand along Hutt Road and Aotea Quay, as Hutt Road (due to the ramp connection with the state highway) currently serves as the direct link into the Ferry terminal.  
The SSBC recommended the following preferred technical solution: 

  • Southbound and Northbound bus lanes
  • 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 turn around facility for northbound vehicles and to facilitate access to the ferry terminal from SH1).  

The SSBC was approved by all three partners in 2022.  
In 2022, further investigations revealed that the proposed central median along Hutt Road will necessitate a turnaround facility on Aotea Quay, facilitating the removal of ferry traffic from Hutt Road by enabling direct connection to/from the state highways. 
The TQHR project seeks to deliver improvements to the Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road corridor, targeting public transport and active travel. Let's Get Wellington Moving, as part of the TQHR project, is seeking to replace the existing signalised intersection at the Container Terminal yard along Aotea Quay with a 28m diameter metered roundabout. The metered roundabout has been agreed as the preferred solution and is being progressed for implementation.   

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