Auckland transport projects

June 28th, 2013 at 1:18 pm by David Farrar

The PM has announced three major long-term projects for , at a cost of around $10 billion. They are:

  • The City rail link, with construction to start in 2020, or earlier if central city employment grows by 25% or in the year rail patronage is forecast to hit 20 million trips (if before 2020)
  • A second harbour crossing, with a tunnel  planned for around 2025, with route protection to start this year
  • Speeding up the  combined Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) and East-West Link project

They are also looking to bring forward three smaller projects -  to complete a motorway-to-motorway link between the Upper Harbour Highway and the Northern Motorway at Constellation Drive, widen the Southern Motorway between Manukau and Papakura, and upgrade State Highway 20A link to the airport to motorway standard.

It’s good to have certainty over the harbour crossing. These things need huge lead times, and you don’t want to be debating whether to have one, where it will be, and is it a bridge or tunnel just a few years before you badly need it.

It will be interesting to see the funding details over time. Will they all be funded from the National Land Transport Fund or will taxpayers make a contributions (NLTF is funded by petrol tax and road charges – not general taxation) or will PPPs play a role?

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22 Responses to “Auckland transport projects”

  1. graham (2,284 comments) says:

    I wonder if the tunnel will include space for extending the rail network to the North Shore? Even if there is no money to commit to building it, at least break with tradition and plan for the future.

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  2. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    Auckland Central will be an interesting contest at the next election.

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  3. Alan Wilkinson (1,848 comments) says:

    At first sight this looks like excellent planning – for both infrastructure and politics. Labour will be grinding its teeth.

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  4. shoreboy57 (137 comments) says:

    So Chch and Akld are sorted. Wellington? Perhaps no votes there for National?

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  5. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Auckland Central will be an interesting contest at the next election.

    I think Auckland Central will be no contest at the next election. I’m sure Nikki Kaye is very happy with the announcement.

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  6. Alan Wilkinson (1,848 comments) says:

    @shoreboy57, Wellington should be left with a Green mayor and council for ever to serve as a horrible example for the rest of the country.

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  7. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    @shoreboy57,

    We got our transport announcement last week – 2nd Mt Vic tunnel, separate ped & cycle way, 6 laning, new pavilion for the Basin Reserve to mitigate effects of bridging. Exceptional result for Wellington and Lower NI, especially in conjunction with Transmission Gully.

    All we need now is some funding assistance with extending the airport runway, but that will take some more time and effort yet I think.

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  8. Changeiscoming (159 comments) says:

    Good stuff – I trust the Tunnel at least will be a Tollway. It’s the only way to go.

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    John Key, like all politicians, does love spending other peoples’ money.

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  10. freedom101 (481 comments) says:

    Kiwigreg 2.20pm – Hardly ‘other people’s money’. Have you worked out how much fuel tax you pay? It’s the money from roading going back into roading. A much better investment than WFF or other socialist schemes which just pour money down the dunny.

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  11. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    Good stuff – I trust the Tunnel at least will be a Tollway. It’s the only way to go.

    Didn’t happen for Auckland’s tunnel.

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  12. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    ….”Didn’t happen for Auckland’s tunnel.”….

    No, but tolls did pay a fair bit of the bill for the original Harbour bridge. If recall correctly it cost 2/6d (25cents) to cross North/South in 1962. Everyone seemed to bitch about the cost but few took the original route.

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  13. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    The problem with tolling either the second Mt Vic tunnel or the New Market tunnel is you’re taking away the original point of access. It’s not reasonable to take away a road and then charge for the replacement. The Auckland harbour bridge was entirely new as was the Tauranga harbour crossing. The tunnel north of Orewa is likewise so far game for these.

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  14. peterwn (3,213 comments) says:

    nasska – the original route was vehicular ferries across the harbour. They stopped running the moment the bridge opened.

    The toll was very quickly reduced to 2 bob each way, because traffic was well above predictions, but not before my mum took a wrong turn on the way to Point Chev and ended up paying 5 bob (ouch!).

    Minhinnick drew a cartoon for the Herald (when it was a real newspaper) showing a canny Scotsman paying 2 bob and saying to the toll collector “Aye, laddie – this is what I have been waiting for”.

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  15. graham (2,284 comments) says:

    I thought there was some law that stated tolls could only be charged if there was a viable alternative free route that can be used?

    The Puhoi tunnel, for example, is a tolled alternative to the original route which is still open, through Hatfields Beach and Waiwera.

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  16. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    I trust with convention center deals and other government works going on, the total planned Auckland infrastructure spend in the next few years easily could be up to around 15 billion dollars.

    Pretty significant .

    I don’t know why they are not spending more in the provinces to make them more attractive for business. An international airport/university and some nice facilities in Tauranga for example, could draw a lot of business and people.

    And, it could take some pressure off Auckland.

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  17. Alan Wilkinson (1,848 comments) says:

    @graham, not a law I’m sure, maybe a political promise. Anyway there will be an alternative to the tunnel – the other bridges. I hope it is tolled – keeps the rabble out.

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  18. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    And where is the money coming from for this? There aren’t that many rich pricks.

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  19. slijmbal (1,223 comments) says:

    Where will the enter and exit on the Shore? That will be fun working out as last time this was brought up it would have a significant effect on one or other neighbourhood and NIMBYism was rife.

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  20. slijmbal (1,223 comments) says:

    Checking this map http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/aucklandtransportplanlargeimage.jpg

    looks like they have it coming out on the bit of land to the east of the motorway in Shoal Bay – don’t think it’s got any property on it – makes for a longer tunnel though. Earlier options came out right in the middle of a big chunk of houses.

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  21. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    Slijmbal – If that is what they are planning then that is ridiculous. It appears to come out in the city just north of spaghetti junction. So it will encounter all the congestion the existing route does.

    Just in case any nongo planners are reading, the congestion is not on the bridge itself but is in spaghetti junction ie traffic going from north auckland to south auckland, not north to the city. Any new crossing needs to bypass that completely or it will be a complete waste of time. fark.

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  22. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    The East-West has not even been costed, nor has it been effectively route planned. It is simply not required unless you own a trucking company. AMETI has the potential to be useful if decent public transit (busway) is included.

    The harbour crossing will eventually be required, primarily for rail, but it’s not required now and won’t be required in the near future, particularly as NZTA’s projections for traffic are not tracking reality (demand has in fact fallen over the last few years). It is not required for cars/trucks/buses as things are now – in fact, if it’s cars/trucks/buses only it will actually make things worse. Why? Because the bridge is not congested except at rush-hour. And the only reason it’s congested is, as OneTrack points out, due to spaghetti junction being at capacity. Adding capacity north thus doesn’t assist anything unless those vehicles are dropped into the Auckland CBD which already has far more cars than it has reasonable capacity for. Where will they park? Further, once Waterview is complete an alternate route is available for that north-south traffic, once again reducing congestion on the bridge.

    The CRL is the single project that will significantly increase capacity across the board. Pushing it back is madness, particularly when it’s being pushed back so that roads that Auckland does not need can be done first. Yes, some roading work is ofcourse required – particularly Grenville needs an upgrade, but not to the extent proposed here. Once the CRL is done the capacity of everything else necessarily goes up signficantly, as all routes through the city are much more efficient. Ferries, buses from the Northen busway etc. are far more attractive as once you get to the city it’s fast and easy to go through to other destinations. This then eases congestion on other routes, particularly the harbour crossing.

    Why does ideology always need to trump common sense? This happens with politicians of both stripes, and we as a country can not afford it.

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