Wellington is getting a second Mt Victoria tunnel as part of its $6.4 billion transport package, but it's certainly got nothing to do with cars.
Last week the Herald revealed the details of four distinct transport packages for Let's Get Wellington Moving's big ticket items, which are scheduled to be put out for public consultation early next week.
In two of the four options the existing Mt Victoria tunnel is converted for walking and cycling only. There's a new diagonal tunnel with two lanes for private vehicles and two lanes dedicated for a bus priority system.
The other two options keep the existing Mt Victoria tunnel as it is, two lanes for traffic, and a new tunnel is created for walking and cycling.
So either way, there would still only be two lanes of traffic for cars.
The key difference in the proposals is whether dedicated lanes for a bus priority system through Mt Victoria are provided for.
Without a dedicated route through a tunnel, bus priority out to the eastern suburbs feels a lot less like a priority.
The proposed diagonal tunnel roughly runs from the Basin Reserve to the Badminton Centre on the Hataitai side of Mt Victoria.
It means this route for bus priority more or less skips Hataitai. Luckily the suburb already has the existing dedicated bus tunnel at its doorstep and could still be serviced by the current network.
Island Bay is the big winner of the proposals with three options including light rail out to the south and one option with bus rapid transit.
It's been clear for some time now that Let's Get Wellington Moving has moved away from the airport as being the bright and shiny destination of the city's new mass rapid transit system.
That's because the project team is giving much more consideration to urban development opportunities.
One of the reasons the southern suburbs are more suitable for new housing development is that they are less exposed to natural hazards.
Wellington City Council has just approved its draft district plan for public consultation.
New flood risk maps are being proposed as part of it, outlining where new housing development would generally not be allowed.
If approved, it will be the first time coastal inundation and tsunami impact risks are incorporated into the plan.
Kilbirnie in particular is affected by the high risk scenario of a 1-in-100-year tsunami, allowing for 1 metre of sea level rise.
There's a large section of the suburb where new housing development would generally not be allowed under the proposal.
Initially mass rapid transit and a second Mt Victoria tunnel were set to be considered as two separate business cases.
One of the biggest political points of contention has been when a second Mt Victoria Tunnel should be built - now, or in a decade?
On the campaign trail National said it would fast-track the construction of a second tunnel.
However, it's become clear these two big ticket items, mass rapid transit and a second tunnel, have to be considered in tandem.
Earlier this year the Herald revealed the project had undergone a re-think.
Interim work highlighted emerging affordability challenges and found these packages could be "reshaped" to deliver better outcomes.
So the Let's Get Wellington Moving partnership board decided to undertake a technical assessment, which included the development of several alternative programmes representing a range of costs and outcomes
It's this work which has led to the four final options the public will be consulted on next month, however the phasing of projects will not be considered until later.
The assessment also took into account three major strategic shifts which have happened over the life of the plan including climate change commitments, revised population forecasts, and Covid-19.
It's not surprising that the Mt Victoria tunnel proposals have nothing to do with cars since the Let's Get Wellington Moving objective with the highest weighting is reducing carbon emissions by increasing mode shift away from reliance on private vehicles.
But there is something for cars in the proposals and that's grade separation at the Basin Reserve. Three of the four options include this.
The Basin Reserve Flyover is the disaster from which Let's Get Wellington Moving was born.
The Basin is a massive choke point in the city and it's widely accepted something has to be done, but that a flyover bridge was not the right way to go about it.
It's likely that grade separation at the Basin will involve the extension of the Arras Tunnel, which passes under Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and was opened to traffic on September 29, 2014.
The days of the Basin Reserve being used as a mega roundabout would be over.