Melling Interchange Project and Debate

Melling Interchange Project and Debate

Well at last the funding for the Melling interchange has been approved as part of the Labour infrastructure spend up announced yesterday.

Roughly 108,000 people live in the Hutt Valley region, and with a steady increase in population, a more resilient transport system is vital for the region’s continued urban and economic growth, Melling interchange is an essential part of that.

The Melling Interchange is but one part of the RiverLink programme, which is a multi-organisation programme of three separate but interdependent projects relating to flood protection, urban development and transport improvements. Together this project will spend around $260 million. This is the biggest development project in the Hutt Valley, I believe. The flood protection that goes hand in hand with the Melling bridge intersection with this project is paramount, and we need protection from the river, as the Hutt Valley is one of the largest urban areas in a flood plain.

Of course everyone is claiming political mileage out of this spend, and given the size of the project it is no wonder, after all with nothing else on the horizon this is the number one issue, front and centre.

Chris Bishop National MP for Hutt South , while at the front in his eyes of this campaign to progress the Melling interchange, no doubt will have a somewhat hard pill to swallow, now that the green light has been given by Labour, and to be honest has little in the can, now this has occurred for his upcoming election campaign this year.

There is no debating the issue that this spend was under Labours watch, no matter how Mr Bishop views it. Pledges by previous governments carry no weight, as they simply are promises if elected.

Both the people protests and no doubt the work behind the scene by all concerned has ensured that the NZTA changed its view.

This is great for the Hutt Valley, but it is a long way to completion in 2026.

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