Floating link spans for new Wellington ferry terminal

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NZN

The Kaikoura earthquake has prompted Wellington's port operator to come up with a concept for a new Cook Strait ferry terminal with floating link spans to ferries.

Wellington's Centreport

Source: 1 NEWS

Centreport has unveiled a Northern Gateway project in its annual report where both ferry operators would be based at a new terminal at the Interislander's Kaiwharawhara site, which would have better links to roads, rail and buses.

Ferry services between New Zealand's North Island and South Island resumed within 24 hours of the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake on November 14, 2106 but the quake highlighted the nation's reliance on the Cook Strait. It also damaged the port.

"If the Cook Strait stops, New Zealand stops," the port says.

Cook Strait ferry passenger crossings are predicted to increase from 1.1 million in 2015 to at least 1.7 million in 2025.

The port operator says the current facilities lack connectivity and are ready to be brought into the 21st century.

It says it is working with partners and stakeholders on plans to develop a multi-modal and multi-operator ferry terminal at Kaiwharawhara.

"Integrating road, rail and sea transport networks into one resilient terminal would bring economic benefits to the Wellington region and New Zealand overall," the port says.

It doesn't say anything about funding or identify potential partners.

Interislander ferries are operated by government-owned KiwiRail, which competes with privately owned ferry operator Bluebridge.

Bluebridge currently has a separate ferry terminal at Waterloo Quay in the CBD.

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