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SH20 Avondale extension route

MEDIA RELEASE

6 November 2003

SH20 Avondale extension route:
Needs to protect community and environment

Auckland City’s Transport Committee today confirmed its support for the completion of investigations into the Transit’s draft preferred alignment of the Avondale extension of the State Highway 20 (SH20).

Transit’s two short listed routes to link SH20 Mt Roskill extension with the State Highway 16 motorway are:
- AW1 connecting through Waterview
- AR1 connecting through the Rosebank Peninsula
and the Transit Authority has clearly expressed their preference for the Waterview connection (AW1). Prior to a final decision, Transit is seeking feedback from key stakeholders including Auckland City.

The importance of this project for the city’s future transport network and the need to remove uncertainty for the communities involved were emphasised again by the committee as several important issues have yet to be resolved:

- the impact upon Avondale and Mt Albert town centres
- how this will be integrated into future growth in this area
- the effect of interchanges upon local area
- the negative impacts of Transit’s staging options upon the city and local community
- the loss of green space in the area
- the balance of consideration to be given to economic natural and built environment issues
- the primary function of the western ring route and the merit, or otherwise, of building new links to the city.

“Auckland city, officers and elected officials, hope to see some of the issues raised over the past year addressed more comprehensively and in greater detail,” said Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. “For example, details are needed on intersection function and design, given that these have significant impacts on surrounding communities. The council is also interested in the actual mitigation that will accompany the final plans.”

The committee reinforced the fact that the current investigation results to date provide the framework but do not provide enough in-depth information to indicate its support for either AW1 or AR1.

In addition, the committee believes that should the AR1 option be selected, that Transit has not demonstrated the need to also maintain a link to the Waterview interchange. “I suppose we are questioning some of the fundamental objectives and assumptions about the project,” said Mr McKeown, “and it would be fair to say that Transit and Auckland City are not on the same page at this stage. We would like to be – there is more work to do.”

“We continue to recommend that the SH20 Western Ring route be completed as a single project. The committee is opposed to Transit’s most recent proposals to stage SH20 Avondale and to divert motorway traffic onto the local network, particularly Blockhouse Bay Road, Great North Road and Rosebank Road,” says Mr Mckeown.

Transit’s connection of SH20 with SH16 will open up a new strategic route for the region from Manukau, across the south west part of the isthmus and to the north, relieving the pressured SH1 and spaghetti junction, and dramatically improving the flow of traffic through the whole central roading network.

“Opportunities have arisen around new rail investment and a double tracking of the network on the Western line,” said Mr McKeown. “Council needs to focus its discussions with Transit on the fact that Auckland City is a built up urban area and that new motorway designs need to be addressed within this context.”

Transit is to announce its preferred route early 2004.

Ends

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