The former Mayor of Porirua, Jenny Brash, has said that an upgrade would generate large numbers of complaints from Porirua residents, and would therefore have difficulty receiving resource consent.
From SH1 at Mac Kays Crossing, north of Paekakariki, the route rises steeply to the Wainui Saddle and follows Transmission Gully down to Porirua Harbour's Pauatahanui Inlet.
It continues south around the outer edge of the Porirua urban area, at one point crossing a 300-metre-long and 90-metre-high bridge, and rejoins SH 1 at the boundary of Porirua and Tawa.
The first interchange is with State Highway 58 at Pauatahanui, providing access to the Hutt Valley.
The second interchange will link via new local roads to James Cook Drive in Whitby and the Warspite Avenue-Niagara Street intersection in Waitangirua.
The previous Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast, has described the project as "unaffordable".
It has been suggested that making Transmission Gully a toll road would help resolve this problem and tolls would only cover a fraction of the funds necessary to build the highway.
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On 15 August 2011, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), Porirua City Council, and Transpower New Zealand Limited jointly applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (New Zealand) (EPA) for notices of requirement and resource consents for the Transmission Gully Proposal.
On , after a series of public hearings, the EPA-appointed board of inquiry into the Transmission Gully proposal stated in a draft decision that it would grant resource consents for the project.
The third interchange will link via a new local road to Kenepuru Drive south of the Porirua city centre.