The New Zealand (NZ) Government has announced a review of the Transmission Gully motorway project.

The Infrastructure Commission has been appointed to conduct the project review and oversee a wide-ranging review of it.

Following delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project is now scheduled to open to traffic by September 2021.

The restrictions in place due to the pandemic and the inability to access the worksite during Alert Level 4 caused a delay of more than five weeks. The delay has led to increased costs.

Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP) is the project contractor, the CPB HEB Joint Venture (JV) is the builder while the maintenance contractor is Ventia.

The CPB HEB JV will be provided with a compensation payment of $145.5m to cover the costs of delays and other impacts.

Separate payments of $12.5m and $5m will be made to the WGP and Ventia to cover their respective costs from the delays and associated issues.

The Transmission Gully project is being built on a 27km four-lane expressway, with approximately 85% completion.

To cope with the lost time, the schedule has been revised to utilise more local subcontractors and resources.

Furthermore, the type of pavement that the motorway will be finished with has been changed.

Construction of the road is currently underway, with up to 420 people working on site.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said: “Both government and the private sector need to have the confidence to carry out large complex infrastructure projects together.

“We can’t have problems with Transmission Gully putting us off from using innovative procurement models to tackle our infrastructure deficit.

“Given the high potential for conflicts of interest in the NZ market, the Infrastructure Commission will get an independent international expert to lead the review. The review will kick off once they have been hired and take until mid-2021.”