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Grafton Gully Roadworks


31 July 2001

Council Moves To Minimise Adverse Effects Of Grafton Gully Roadworks

Auckland City Council is using a consistent approach to major developments and previous motorway construction to help minimise the effects of a major motorway redevelopment in Grafton Gully.

While the Council’s Transport and Roading Committee has approved the ‘trench option’ for the State Highway 16 extension, the designation procedure under the Resource Management Act requires an Outline Plan to be submitted.

Councillor Juliet Yates, the chairwoman of the Planning Fixtures Sub-committee, said five volumes of an Outline Plan of Works and supporting documents were received from Transit New Zealand and have been studied by Council planning staff.

The sub-committee has made a series of recommendations requesting that more detail on an Outline Plan of Works be considered by Transit New Zealand who will build the extension of State Highway 16 to Stanley St.

As the land is designated motorway under the District Plan, no resource consents are required from the Council. However, to protect the public interest, the Outline Plan process enables the Council to request changes before construction begins.

Councillor Yates said the ability of the Council to suggest additions to the Outline Plan means Transit is aware of the Council’s concerns and can help minimise disruption to the public before, during and after construction.

The requested details are consistent with conditions which Transit accepted in regard to SH20, said Councillor Yates.

“This process has worked well in the past with other major construction projects and we are hoping the same will apply with State Highway 16, so that the project proceeds efficiently with minimum disruption to the public.”

Councillor Yates said the Council had asked Transit to provide detailed plans in seven categories, including construction, landscape and visual effects, stormwater control, noise, traffic management, parking and property access, as well as pedestrian and cycle access.

She said that as with any development, a detailed Construction Management Plan should be approved by the Council. This includes the hours and days of operation, the number and timings of truck movements, protection of pipes and waterways in the road reserves and methods of preventing damage to street trees.

The land should be kept in a tidy condition, controlling sediment and run-off and preventing dust nuisance. Procedures are also required for protection of heritage features.

Councillor Yates said it was important to ensure that during and after construction, good pedestrian and cycle access is maintained across the gully for people wanting to get to Auckland Domain, or walking from Grafton and Parnell to the city.

“While the new motorway will change the appearance of Grafton Gully and remove the present students’ car park, we hope that significant planting will reduce some of the loss of green space,” said Councillor Yates.

“I am particularly encouraged by the willingness of the community to be involved and hope Transit will consult with all interested parties as to the most appropriate planting for the Gully.”

Councillor Yates said Grafton Gully would be an important part of the urban forest. Many people think of gullies as sites for tree ferns and quality species of forest trees and consider pohutukawas as appropriate for cliffs and coastline.

“We have recommended, in particular, consultation with Dr Harold Coop, who with a group of tree specialists has suggested planting Kauri trees.”

While there will be temporary inconvenience during construction, Aucklanders can take heart that once the project is finished there will be much improved traffic flows.

ENDS

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