Tag: South Auckland

THE MANUKAU INTERCHANGE – Work Resumed?

Work Resumed on the Stalled MIT and Manukau Transport Interchange Building?

 

 

Last Friday before heading to up north for a spectacular weekend away chill-laxing I popped in Manukau to do some last-minute shopping (as you do). As I was coming down State Highway One to approach the Manukau turn-off I noticed the Mainzeal crane was actually working at the MIT and Manukau Transport Interchange site. I thought to myself; “Okay, have we started again?” As I have covered in previous posts such as the “THE MANUKAU INTERCHANGE – FROM THE HILL” work has stalled at the site leaving the place like a mess and an eye sore.

 

Here are the recent photos from the site with the crane actually working

2013-02-22 12.55.04

 

 

2013-02-22 12.54.59

 

Click pictures for full resolution

 

So a good sign that the crane was working and workers milling around? In this case it is a no. I went up to the fence at the site entrance to have a closer look and saw no construction trucks of any kind. What was happening is that the crane was lifting down portable generators and other construction equipment into trucks and the subsequent equipment being taken off site.

Umm not so good as that means the site is now pretty much abandoned with a small squad of security guards posted at the entrance gate keeping a watch. It also means Auckland Transport will not be opening their new transport interchange at the same site in June (which was already a delayed date – the interchange was meant to be open next month) if I read their February Board Meeting Agenda properly.

 

To add a new twist to this I am reading that the Auckland Council Governing Body is having its meeting at the Manukau Civic Building which is where I had my RPTP hearing earlier AND is right next to the MIT site. Now is the mayor and councillors going to take the train from Britomart to Manukau Station (which is under the MIT building site) and back again for this meeting or they going to chicken out and take cars? While at the Civic Building I wonder if George, Sharon and Dick will take the rest of the Governing Body to the MIT eye sore and show the rest of the Councillors and Mayor what South Auckland is currently lugged with. I might show up as the tour guide just to emphasis a point to boot.

 

Regular updates from the Manukau Interchange will occur until the building is finally complete. In the meantime it really does look like an eye sore from the outside AND inside…

Southern Auckland’s Future

Coming Soon on BR:AKL

 

South and Counties Auckland – Development to and for the Future

 

 

I am going to be writing up a series of posts looking at one way South and Counties Auckland (so Southern Auckland) could evolve urban and transport fabric wise through the life of the Auckland Plan

It’s Sim City meets Auckland Planner

Here at BR:AKL

 

 

Southern Auckland and the lower Eastern Suburbs – my home and all under the watchful gaze of BR:AKL.

 

The entire area I will try to “simulate” out a planning exercise showing that evolution of the urban and transport fabric wise through the life of the Auckland Plan here in Southern Auckland – my and for some YOUR home (and/or business).

 

Let’s see what I can come up with while the Auckland Council Unitary Plan is further refined – AND STILL THICKER THAN A BIBLE!

 

Road Plan Concerns

South Eastern “Bypass” Causing Concern – In South Auckland

 

I had seen this particular article crop up yesterday in the Herald in regards to the Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor

Being that the said corridor is both close to home (being in Papakura and five minutes away from the southern end of the soon-mentioned corridor) and I often use to skip-pass a section of the Southern Motorway when it backs up (usually in the afternoons) BR:AKL will take a look at the situation, then later on post an alternative proposal to the scheme.

 

The Map on Page 331 of The Auckland Plan shows the corridor and area of land in question:

AP Transport Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click for Full Resolution

 

From the Herald article from our resident Transport Reporter – Mathew Dearnaley, there is a bit of upset from residents in the corridor area.

From The NZ Herald

Bypass plan horrifies residents

By Mathew Dearnaley

Hundreds of homes are in the firing line of a new arterial road for South Auckland – of which the first section alone is costed at almost $250 million.

Auckland Transport says about 260 properties, many of them along Redoubt Rd above Manukau, are in the path of the first stage of what it ultimately envisages as a 32km eastern bypass of the Southern Motorway to Drury.

The council organisation revealed last night a cost estimate of $246 million for the 9.2km section from Manukau and Flat Bush to Alfriston east of Manurewa, parallel with Mill Rd – including $66 million for property purchases – although it has yet to hazard a price for the full project.

Only $82 million is allocated for the next 10 years, and the project could take twice that time to complete.

But it intends seeking a route designation for the first section from the council’s planners by the end of next month, and says it is powerless to stop landowners from building new homes until then.

The plan has horrified residents of the historic Redoubt Ridge, through which Auckland Transport intends carving a road corridor up to 30m wide, past a remodelled junction with a widened Murphys Rd running from Flat Bush.

Redoubt Rd resident Raewyn Roberts, spokeswoman for an action committee to fight the proposal, yesterday called on Auckland Transport to avoid destroying what remained of a valuable ecological corridor from Murphys Bush to Totara Park and beyond.

She said it should instead press the Government’s Transport Agency to widen the Southern Motorway and alleviate a serious bottleneck caused by what she called a poorly-designed new connection with the Southwestern Motorway.

Long delays on the motorway were prompting many drivers to turn off at Manukau and head up Redoubt Rd, causing safety concerns which she accused Auckland Transport of exploiting to strengthen its case for a bypass.

Meetings held by Auckland Transport had reduced some of her neighbours – including migrants who had recently moved on to the road – to tears.

“It’s appalling,” she said. “This is a mega, mega project – they have this massive dual carriageway which will come roaring up from the old Manukau City centre, wipe out the ridge, then sweep down Mill Rd.”

A distraught fellow committee member, Eve Osborne, said she and her husband were assured by officials before buying their large colonial-style home further up the ridge for “close to $1 million” in 2011 that the road would avoid the property.

They moved in after being built out by neighbours in Glendowie, but had to halt badly-needed renovations to the Redoubt Rd property in October after learning the road would be “going smack through this house” and those on either side.

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said the road had been flagged as a strategic arterial route in the 30-year Auckland Plan, and was a priority project needed to cope with future growth from Flat Bush to Drury.

Although its preferred alignment “shows an impact” on about 260 properties, among more than 400 along the first stage of the road corridor, he said many may be affected in only minor ways.

The proposal

* Redoubt Rd-Mill Rd-Murphy Rd corridor:
* 32km long to Drury.
* $246 million for the first 9.2km stage, cost unknown south of Alfriston.
* About 260 properties affected in first stage.
* Likely to be built in several stages over 20 years

 

To be fair to Auckland Transport this corridor has been placed in The Auckland Plan as the picture above shows. To be even more “fair” this corridor has been floating around in plans for by the looks of it, the last decade or so; so plenty of notice and attention there. However to be fair to the home owners up at Redoubt Road and Redoubt Ridge, what AT has planned for the corridor is simply horrifying and I am sure we can think of some better alternatives here (given that aspects of the corridor are needed with mass urban development due out my way and along the corridor over the next 30-years).

 

Auckland Transport does have a website dedicated to the Redoubt Road-Mill Road Corridor in which you can find particular information on the project:

Redoubt Road – Mill Road corridor

Your questions on the Mill Road corridor answered

 Redoubt to Mill Road corridor > Old Mill Road consultation

Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor Study: Issues

Design and consultation (this one has graphics on the proposed works)

 

A reminder that the scope of the works is for the Redoubt Road – Mill Road Corridor FROM State Highway One (Manukau Interchange) to the Mill Road/Alfriston Road Intersection. Any thing further south of that particular intersection leading into Papakura and later Drury has not come up yet (not that I have seen), so  a case of wait-and-see with AT to see what comes up there (it is also the section that would have my attention more as I am only five minutes away from that section of the corridor).

 

I will write up a separate post on alternatives to the corridor works later to see if effects of the works and corridor could be better minimised.

 

But I do agree with this in the duration:

“Redoubt Rd resident Raewyn Roberts, spokeswoman for an action committee to fight the proposal, yesterday called on Auckland Transport to avoid destroying what remained of a valuable ecological corridor from Murphys Bush to Totara Park and beyond.

She said it should instead press the Government’s Transport Agency to widen the Southern Motorway and alleviate a serious bottleneck caused by what she called a poorly-designed new connection with the Southwestern Motorway. Long delays on the motorway were prompting many drivers to turn off at Manukau and head up Redoubt Rd, causing safety concerns which she accused Auckland Transport of exploiting to strengthen its case for a bypass.”

Yep NZTA stuffed that up alright when they built the State Highways 1/20 interchange. The bottleneck at Hill Road Off-ramp where the motorway south goes from three to two lanes has been there for the last 20 years or more. NZTA decide to build (the much-needed) State Highway 20 interchange but forget to widen the motorway to three lanes to at least Takanini Interchange or for better results Papakura Interchange (which is getting an upgrade anyhow) which means the bottleneck is a heck of lot worse (and yes I tried to avoid it countless times by using Redoubt Road and Mill Road, or the Great South Road in the afternoon rush hour). To the situation worse NZTA are upgrading the Papakura Interchange to allow easier traffic movement in that area but forget the Papakura to Hill Road section of the motorway including Takanini Interchange, making the bottlenecks worse. I wonder because Papakura is a National Party electorate (Justice Minister Judith Collins) and the Takanini Interchange falls into the Manurewa Electorate (Labour MP – Louisa Wall) that NZTA have got their priorities in interchange upgrades backwards (Takanini was due for its upgrade 2015, but now its off the books entirely)

 

However at the end of the day the Redoubt Road/Mill Road corridor will need to be built (regardless of State Highway One) but in a more tactful manner that is not as disturbing as the current proposal. I don’t quite think large-scale carriage-ways are needed now or ever even with the growth coming up in the area.

 

As I said I shall draw an alternative’s proposal up later and see what I get…

 

A Letter from A Councillor

Councillor George Wood Writes to Manukau Courier

 

While checking my Facebook feed in the morning (as you do) I noticed a comment from former Manurewa Local Board Chair:

 

That got me looking and I discovered this:

 

Basically Councillor George Wood spelling it out as it is with public transport issues down here in South Auckland – especially with buses (an area admittedly I am not paying much issue to but should very well be).

I agree with the entire letter from the Councillor to the point I will be throwing more resources or rather effort here at BR:AKL on our bus issues and getting them sorted.

 

However Newman was “fuming” because the Southern Initiative got mentioned and the bad onus around that. Yes the Southern Initiative has had its rather ugly moments in either rough-shodding over the Local Boards or budget re-routing away from Local Boards to Southern Initiative projects that are overseen by the main governing body.

The focus from the letter should be on our transport here in South Auckland, not dragging the Southern Initiative into this as that is another debate along with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Also I have seen no oppositional Councillor nor mayoral candidate state they would overthrow the Southern Initiative after the 2013 elections and put in place an alternative. I believe it is the case of we are lugged with it – let’s try and make this work best we can – as rough-shodding by Council Officers, CCOs, and the Governing Body happens right across the spectrum – not just the Southern Initiative.

My comment to Newman makes somewhat that point:

Ben Ross

Burnt from the Budget (which burnt the entire city any how) I still see.

That aside – well something must being going on as 2012 was a mixed year for success and failures in dealing with the Governing Body from personal experience (that is the Governing Body not the CCOs).

Failures: The Auckland Plan in part but more so the Long Term Plan. The new Rubbish Policy.

Successes: Irony would have it this has been down the transport division:- Manukau South Link, Pukekohe Electrification Extension, cant comment with the RPTP yet as the hearing is still coming up, slow progress with the bus situation down south – but least its moving.

Next Challenge: Again transport, however Alcohol Policies with the new Act in position

So “bringing them to the Governing Body” has had its moments of success and failures -( for a scrappy little ratepayer  ) – but that is to be expected. 2013 is going to bring?…

 

A case of win-some, you lose-some. But you continue to battle on in pushing or lobbying for what you want to see to make Auckland a better place – the purpose behind this blog from day one.

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light – To a Better Papakura (OUR home)
AND
To a Better Auckland – (OUR City)

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

 

 

Papakura Station – Refurbished

Opening of Papakura Station Platform Three

 

Over the weekend rail Block of Lines, the rail engineers had “commissioned” platform three at Papakura Station after an extensive revamp. This revamp included moving the old heritage Papakura Station Building and Signal Panel to the Platform Three location and sprucing the building up for a new lease of life. Platform Four at Papakura Station should have also been commissioned but will not be in use until the Electric’s start running from late next year.

 

I have some photos of Papakura Station taken from the over-bridge this afternoon. It is of note I was one of the first passengers out of platform three this  morning on the 5:05am service from Papakura to Britomart via The Eastern Line. I must say on first looks the new platform and refurbished building were looking very good. But I shall let you judge:

 

I will try endeavour to get close-ups and some shots inside the refurbished station building later on this week when I have time off.

For those looking for the station building moving shots from earlier this year, refer to my PAPAKURA STATION BUILDING ON THE MOVE post.