With Transmission Gully finishing up last month, many people are asking what the next big project for Wellingtons civil and construction sector will be. Transmission gully had been in the construction phase for the past eight years and cost an extra $200 million to finance. With the motorways construction finally over, construction workers will move on to the next projects around the country with a close eye on the new Manawatu Gorge Road. But what do you think the most pressing projects are for Wellington?
Quake repairs in Wellington City
One of the biggest problems for Wellington’s infrastructure is the massive number of buildings still under threat from earthquakes. There are 590 residential and commercial buildings that have been closed due to earthquake risk since 2017. While repairs are currently ongoing, the council spent 16 million last year repairing the Kate Shepard building, while defence house on Aitken St had to be demolished. Many Wellingtonians would like to see the repair and strengthening of their homes and offices, but these repairs are projected to cost around $1.5 billion and with the deadline running out, many are left questioning when they will be able to move back in.
National Archives building on Aitken Street
A new state of the art archives building is currently being constructed by LT McGuinness along Aitken Street. The old archives building has long had structural issues includes water leaks, lack of storage space and poor earthquake strengthening, resulting in them not being able to accept new historical documents for the last five years. The new archive will have a quarantine facility, base-isolation and will have a minimum 4 green star rating. Design elements of the project also include pipi beds, gardens and kumara mounds, referencing that the land once belonging to Taranaki Whānui hapū and whanau. This project is expected to cost 290 million and be completed in 2026.
Riverbank along the Hutt River
The Greater Wellington Council has recently begun compulsory property acquisition for new flood banks along the Hutt River. However, when plans were first drafted to repair the riverbanks, McDonalds first store had just opened in Wellington and Jim Bolger was Prime Minister. Costing an estimated $700 million, work is expected to start in 2023. Now that the council has started the land acquisition process, we might see these flood banks before IKEA comes to Wellington…
The Living Pā at Victoria University
Victoria University of Wellington and LT McGuinness are currently constructing one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable buildings. The living Pā will be centered around Victoria universities wharenui, Te Tumu Herenga Waka, and provide a place of learning and gathering for university students and staff. The University has committed $45 million to the project, and it is expected to be completed in 2024.
Tunnel to Picton
Anyone got a cool $20Bn to burn? Who wouldn’t love an underwater tunnel from Wellington to Picton. Similar to the Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel” connecting Britain to Europe, this tunnel would be a direct link from state highway 1 to 6, meaning it would take roughly 45 minutes to cross the Cook strait (we could also bring in Kelly Tarlton as chief engineer to create an aquarium style roof?). Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to build this tunnel as it could cost taxpayers as much as $20 billion. Of course, we’re not sure if we’d want to be in the tunnel during an earthquake or rough seas, but wouldn’t it be nice to drive down to Nelson for the weekend?
Some of these plans are currently in either the consultation or construction phase, with many hopefully finished before the end of the decade. If you have any ideas or recommendations for upcoming projects in Wellington comment them below! And if you work in the construction industry and are interested in exciting projects, get in touch! We have lots of opportunities for quantity surveyors, project managers and engineers.