Sod Turned on first accelerated transport projects
The Prime Minister along with other dignitaries today turned the first sod up on the North Shore for the accelerated transport projects announced in June this year.
Accelerated package of Auckland Transport projects
Wednesday, 18 December, 2013 – 08:46
A sod turning today by Prime Minister John Key to celebrate a construction start on a project linking the Upper Harbour Highway to the Northern Motorway signals what promises be an action-packed few years to get on top of Auckland’s crucial transport infrastructure needs.
In an event billed as the start of an accelerated package of Auckland transport improvements, the Prime Minister is scheduled to launch the first of a group of projects he confirmed in his “Backing Auckland” speech in June
The project launched today involves building a motorway-to-motorway link between the Upper Harbour Highway and the Northern Motorway at Constellation Drive, upgrading the Greville Road interchange and improving the Northern Busway.
Welcoming the accelerated programme, chairman of the Auckland Business Forum Michael Barnett said he anticipated other critical projects commencing soon, including reducing delays on the State Highway 20A route to Auckland Airport at the Kirkbride Intersection, and widen the Southern Motorway between Manukau and Papakura.
“We also need to see action as soon as possible on the next generation of major projects the Prime Minister confirmed in June, especially the East-West Link and Central Rail Link,” said Mr Barnett.
An early start to the east-west link between the south western motorway at Onehunga and southern motorway at Mt Wellington on the northern shore of Manukau Harbour is critical, he said. “After the central city this is Auckland’s second highest area of employment. Congestion is already bad enough. But with the economy improving and other freight and warehouse businesses setting up in the Southdown area, the project needs to be progressed with speed and urgency.
You can read the full speech over at Voxy
Some of the accelerated projects are controversial (East-West Link) while others are very much needed (CRL and widening the Southern Motorway between Papakura and Manukau).
Still I note Barnett’s comments about the East-West Link and the drive behind that. I would approach the East-West Link with caution owing to potential land-use changes over the next 30 years. As noted previously by Councillor Bill Cashmore there is a real chance heavy industry and large-scale logistic firms could be forced south by natural land-use change towards residential, commercial and some light industry. We already are seeing that at the west end of Onehunga with the Onehunga Special Housing Area flipping light industry over to Mixed Use (residential and commercial).
More on this as information dribbles out over the next six months.