Included in the photograph is Campbell Barry, Mayor of Lower Hutt and Hellen Swales, Deputy Mayor of Upper Hutt.
The River Link is a major project with three aims: to protect the Hutt from a 400 year flood, to improve the traffic flow into Lower Hutt and to re-orientate the Central Hutt to make more of its river frontage.  It involves an area from the Ewen Bridge to the Kennedy-Good Bridge.
Brian Kirtian and Mark Nicholson explained some of the major issues in the scheme which involves Taranaki  Atiawa, Ngati Toa, Hutt City, Wellington Regional Council and Waka Kotahi.
Implementing the scheme means respecting three concerns, the people involved, the environment and the wairua. The lead constructor is Fletcher Construction.  The work will include raising the stop banks, removing the old bridge and building a wider one for both motorised traffic and cyclists, with appropriate access and egress ramps, building a pedestrian only bridge south of the main one, and building a new  Melling railway station 500m south of the present one.  All the construction will be earthquake proofed to current standards.  Work has started already, with the demolition of some existing buildings.  This stage should be finished by April 2024.  The Melling line will be closed for about eighteen months, the riverside car park will cease to exist in 2024 and there will be major disruption to traffic on State Highway 2 at times.
In answering questions Mark and Brian said that Block Road will cease to exist, the riverside car park will cease to exist and the Hutt Council is considering alternative sites for the Riverside Market such as Avalon Park;  there is the possibility of extending the railway to Kelson later but that is not a part of this project, and  the total budget is estimated to cost $750 million.  It will all indeed be a massive acheivement and  a major improvement for Lower Hutt.