Eastern Corridor Road And Second Harbour Crossing
25 June 2002
Planning For New Eastern Corridor Road And Second Harbour Crossing To Be Linked
The possibility of constructing a Waitemata Harbour crossing to the east of the Auckland harbour bridge is to be considered as part of the study into the proposed eastern corridor route between east Auckland and the downtown/ port area.
It is one of a number of resolutions from the most recent meeting of the Regional Land Transport Committee. The Committee also resolved that planning for the corridor be co-ordinated with planning for the need for a further harbour crossing in order to ensure smooth traffic flow from the corridor onto SH1 heading north.
The eastern corridor options study is being carried out by consultants Eastdor and is due to for completion by September, with more detailed scenarios being narrowed down over the next year.
No decisions have yet been taken about the type of road the corridor will be. It could be a motorway, regional arterial route, or a district arterial road. Each alternative has different implications for road connections and related infrastructure planning, as well as differing capacities for handling traffic volume.
If it is to be a regional road then consideration will have to be given to how it would interconnect with other roads, including a possible harbour crossing.
Committee member Sir Barry Curtis says, "Once the traffic heading north on the eastern corridor hits Quay Street, where will it go? That's the question we have yet to decide. There may or may not be a second harbour crossing built, but we need to explore all options.
"It is clear that planning for both projects should be co-ordinated and that the study consider the eastern corridor as an integral part of the north-south route through the Auckland region.
the eastern corridor should, first and foremost, be
considered as part of the regional roading network and not
just a local road serving Auckland City alone.
So we must ensure that the emerging traffic does not get snarled up in the port area around Quay Street.
"It would provide fast travel between downtown Auckland and destinations south, as well as to and from the eastern residential areas of Auckland City and Manukau. It would also divert heavy traffic off Kepa Road and provide a much faster option for trucks and other commercials vehicles heading to or from East Tamaki, the largest business and employment centre in the region, and which will continue to expand in the future.
"Those businesses need fast access to the port and we can't allow traffic to end up in a slow-moving bottleneck at the port end of the corridor.
"There is a clear need to unblock the Southern Motorway because it's becoming more and more of a nightmare with traffic reduced to a crawl on a daily basis. The increasing traffic isn't just made up of cars, it's also trucks and other commercial vehicles, and there will be more of those vehicles on the roads with continued future growth in Auckland's economy.
"The corridor will also be needed to cope with future population growth and housing intensification in the eastern suburbs of Auckland City and Manukau. The Botany/East Tamaki area is the fastest growing residential area in New Zealand. There is simply no practical alternative to a new eastern route north.
"This project is just one part of a much bigger programme to complete the region's motorway network and having them interconnect, which should've happened years ago.
"However public transport is also a vital ingredient in the Land Transport Strategy and it is being upgraded. There will be continued improvements region-wide in bus and other public transport options, and I would like to see buses or trains running down the centre of the eastern highway, for example."