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Auckland to go for tunnel option

Auckland to go for tunnel option on Harbour Bridge to City project

A workshop convened by the Auckland Regional Council today concluded that the Harbour Bridge to City Project (HBTC) would be best funded through a mix of funding sources.

The ARC, having received Transit NZ’s decision to pursue widening of the existing viaduct convened the workshop to address the challenge of providing the extra $175M funding to enable the tunnel to be built.

The tunnel option is favoured by the community and supported by both the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council on the grounds that the long term, inter-generational benefits to the region as a whole justify the additional expenditure.

Ian Bradley, Chair of the ARC’s Strategic Policy Committee said that “for far too long Auckland has settled for short-term, second-best solutions to our transport infrastructure.”

Cr Bradley said this was an opportunity to show that Auckland can get it right, not just by easing congestion but by ensuring that all major infrastructure projects contribute to making this region a better place to live.

Representatives from Transit NZ, Transfund, Infrastructure Auckland, ARC, ACC, North Shore City Council, Government, and business and community groups identified a broad funding option which included grants from Infrastructure Auckland and tiered contributions from the regional and local communities.

A task force led by Cr. Bradley will be convened comprising representatives from the ARC, ACC and Transit NZ. This task force will report back to the ARC’s Strategic Policy Committee within six weeks.

“This has been a unique opportunity for Auckland to show that it is prepared to back its demands to get these things done properly. I would like to thank all those who participated for their support. I will be consulting widely over the next few weeks to establish a way in which we can deliver the desired outcome. We cannot afford to delay this project any longer,” said Cr Bradley.

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