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Transit Still Prepared To Consider Options

Transit Still Prepared To Consider Options

Transit New Zealand recognises that the tunnel options for its Harbour Bridge to City motorway upgrading project would provide social and environmental benefits for Auckland, but funding was the issue, said Transit chairperson Alan Bickers.

Transit had tried to raise the additional funding needed for a tunnel option but after discussions with Auckland organisations only Infrastructure Auckland (IA) had been potentially willing to provide funding and that was $30million towards the full tunnel option.

“While we appreciate IA’s response, it was not sufficient to tip the balance in the selection of options and so at this stage widening the Victoria Park viaduct remains the only fundable option,” he said.

“I acknowledge that in terms of the Auckland community the preferred solution is a tunnel, but at a cost of $280M or $200M for a full tunnel or a northbound tunnel respectively, compared to $105M to widen the existing viaduct, it would mean other Auckland projects would have to be delayed. Given Transit’s commitment to addressing the serious congestion problems in Auckland, we are unable to justify the very significant additional costs when we have finite funding.”

“Since the Transit New Zealand Authority took the decision favouring the viaduct option we have written to the Auckland City Council, Infrastructure Auckland and the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee. We advised them that unless we receive any advice to the contrary, we propose to now proceed with seeking a designation to widen the existing viaduct. We await their response,” said Mr Bickers.

Mr Bickers said that suggestions had been made that tolling could provide the funds needed but tolling of this route would be outside the Government’s current policy framework.

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