NZTA to Speed up some Transport Construction Projects?

Seven Projects Under Active Consideration

 

I caught a Tweet from Transport Blog stating that the Government was looking at speeding up a suite of motorway projects:

After I returned from the Fort Street transformation tour earlier today I popped over to TB for a look to see what the fuss is all about.

An intro to the said Transport Blog post:

By Matt L, on November 20th, 2013

paper to the Auckland Transport board shows just how easy it is for our existing transport plans to be changed to accommodate new motorway projects. It comes about due to the governments announcement that they were fast tracking a series of roading projects around Auckland. The issue is that the projects aren’t in the current Regional Land Transport Programme which sets out the projects that will be built over a three-year period (2012-2015) and are technically not allowed to be funded our of the National Land Transport Fund. In other words without them being on the list, the NZTA are not allowed to pay for them and therefore build them.

You can read the full blog post (and the comments which do not give me total confidence at the moment over at Transport Blog.

The said paper being referred to can be seen in the embed below:

 

The seven projects that are being considered for speed up – per the Prime Minister’s transport and City Rail Link announcement earlier this year (so nothing new) are:

  • Northern Corridor:
    • 1) SH1 Greville Road Interchange Upgrade
    • 2) SH18 improvements between SH1 and Unsworth Drive
    • 3) SH1 Upper Harbour Highway to Greville Road Northbound three laning
    • 4) Northern Busway Extension (Constellation to Albany)
    • 5) SH18 to SH1 Motorway-to-Motorway Connection
  • (b). Southern Corridor:
    • 6) Southern Corridor Improvements, which includes:
      • Takanini Northbound three laning to north of the rail overbridge
      • • Takanini to Papakura three laning – Northbound and Southbound
      • • SH20 to Hill Road Southbound four laning;
      • • Takanini Interchange Upgrade
  • (c). Airport Access Corridor

 

The Takanini Interchange as is: http://goo.gl/maps/KARjH

A reminder to readers after noting some stronger comments in the particular Transport Blog post that this is not discussing the controversial and destructive East-West Link. I have mentioned that particular link in other posts previously. Please keep comments to the above seven projects listed 🙂

 

When the Prime Minister announced these seven projects along side the City Rail Link package earlier this year, I gave mixed support depending on what the project was. For example apart from the Northern Busway extension I do not see the particular need for the rest of the Northern Corridor “upgrades” for at least 20 years. However, the Southern Corridor I throw my full weight and support behind and have no issues with the Government getting it all done as fast as possible. As for the State Highway 20A, rather see that be more multi-modal first before I give that a “green-light.’

 

So yes I support fully the upgrade of the Southern Motorway from the State Highways 20 and 1 interchange (Manukau) all the way through to Papakura – and that includes upgrading the notorious Takanini Interchange (which I use often). The upgrade along that section of motorway allows the following:

  • Ease congestion and improve traffic flows from Manukau to Papakura
  • Easier exiting and entering motorway from Takanini
  • Less accidents and less hazards (especially entering the motorway from Takanini going north)
  • More efficient movement and running of intercity freight traffic in the area (yes we do have trucks folks going in and out of Auckland)
  • Allow upgrades to Great South Road from Takanini Interchange through to and hopefully Southgate (Walters Road). This can mean a new set of bus and cycle lanes in a currently bottlenecked area.
  • Should cause a decrease in rat-running (owing to current southbound bottlenecking) through Redoubt and Mill Roads. It also means delaying the Redoubt/Mill Road Corridor project indefinitely – or send it back to the drawing board something more “civilised”

 

However, there is a catch to all of the above and something I picked up on quite quickly too. From the AT Paper:

Executive Summary
On 28 June 2013, Prime Minister John Key announced the Government’s intention to accelerate a number of the Auckland Region transport projects. These included seven NZTA Motorway Projects which are not currently included in the 2012-15 Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP), and are therefore not currently eligible for funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).
NZTA has written to AT requesting that we agree to an amendment to the RLTP to include these projects. This does not necessarily mean that the projects will proceed. The next steps for NZTA would be to carry out Investigation & Design and develop more detailed cost estimates for the projects. It is not yet determined whether the Government intends to provide additional funding for the accelerated projects or whether NZTA will be expected to reprioritise within existing funding levels.

Meaning I could be waiting a bit more longer for the much-needed upgrade down here in South Auckland. Hopefully not with completion hopefully by 2018 – please.

 

 

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