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Media Release: Revised design for Melling Interchange announced

Media release, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, 6 June 2024

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) and Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi Alliance are pleased to share a safer, more efficient design to replace the existing State Highway 2 Melling intersection.

The SH2 Melling Interchange has been listed as a Road of Regional Significance. It remains a key part of Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi work programme.

The revised concept design provides better access to/from the state highway, Lower Hutt and Western Hills by building a grade-separated interchange and removing the existing Melling traffic lights. It also provides improved walking and cycling paths, and better access to public transport.

An artist concept the highway interchange with trees and a river flowing nearby.











An artist’s impression of the revised design for Melling interchange.

Kesh Keshaboina, Regional Manager Systems Design, says the existing traffic lights on State Highway 2 are congested and unsafe.

“With around 40,000 journeys on the state highway through this intersection every day, it’s essential we progress with the best design for the new interchange to make it safer for everyone.”
He says the new interchange and other planned improvements will reduce congestion at this busy intersection.

“They will help move people and freight efficiently and safely along the state highway and local roads, create a more productive and resilient transport network while driving economic growth.”

Mr Keshaboina says the revised concept design for the SH2 Melling Interchange is the result of efforts by the NZTA and the project Alliance (AECOM and Fletcher Construction)

“They are working hard to deliver an efficient and cost-effective solution for this critical project in Lower Hutt.”

This type of innovation and improvement is normal practice for an ‘Interim Project Alliance Agreement’ (IPAA), where NZTA works with the Alliance to review the design, plan how it will be built, and finalise costs. More details on the project’s costs will be known when the IPAA is completed later this year.

Mr Keshaboina says the Lower Hutt community has been calling for this project for years, and we know that people want to see construction start as soon as possible.

“We want to ensure you that working through the design in this way will help ensure we can deliver the best value for money and the best outcomes for this community.”

NZTA will continue to work with the Alliance as part of the IPAA over the remainder of the year. The Project Alliance Agreement will then be signed, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2025.
More information about these transport improvements can be found on the NZTA website.

Melling transport improvements


Notes for the Editor:

The SH2 Melling Transport Improvements are being delivered by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), together with Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi Alliance (AECOM and Fletcher Construction).

  • The project is part of the wider Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi programme, alongside flood protection upgrades and city centre infrastructure delivered by local and regional councils.
  • Over the past year, NZTA in conjunction with the Alliance, has been reviewing the original design as part of the Interim Project Alliance Agreement (IPAA).
  • This type of innovation and improvement is normal practice of the IPAA phase, a process which includes design reviews to identify where improvements can be made, construction planning, and opportunities to improve value for money.  
  • Completion of the IPAA phase, including market testing of cost estimates, is needed to establish what the project’s estimated final cost to complete will be.
  • It is expected that the IPAA will continue until later this year. The Project Alliance Agreement will then be signed, with construction to follow.

    The revised concept design includes:
  • A grade separated interchange (removing the existing traffic lights on the state highway and separating through traffic on the state highway/local roads) 
  • New and improved walking and cycling paths
  • Better connections for residents and business on Tirohanga and Harbour View roads
  • Better access to public transport (with the relocation of the Melling train station and park and ride facilities.)

Comparisons between the revised design and the previous concept design include:

  • Safer and more efficient travel for all users, especially at peak times
  • Enables higher volumes of traffic to safely flow through the interchange
  • Reduced number and length of pedestrian crossings at the interchange when travelling between Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai / Lower Hutt and the Western Hills, improving safety, and helping traffic move along more efficiently. The shared path on the bridge is also wider, further improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists
  • Less environmental impacts by reducing the amount of vegetation clearance and slope cuts in the Western Hills, alongside fewer retaining walls and a smaller bridge footprint.