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Waitemata Harbour Crossing questioned

Waitemata Harbour Crossing questioned

Auckland City’s Transport Committee yesterday received and considered Transit NZ’s constructability study for another Waitemata Harbour Crossing.

Within the framework of a policy statement developed in the Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS), Transit NZ has undertaken a study to determine if an additional crossing could be built near the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Transit NZ’s initial study examined eight options and identified two preferred ones: Option 0A: a new bridge on the western side of the existing crossing that connects to the Northwestern Motorway at Western Springs through a bored tunnel Option V: an immersed tunnel on the eastern side of the existing crossing that connects to the Central Motorway Junction.

“At this stage, Transit has only provided a constructability study: additional research has yet to be conducted,” says Councillor Greg McKeown, Auckland City’s Transport Committee chairperson. “Transportation modelling needs to be undertaken to ascertain if future travel demands justify an additional harbour crossing and if so, whether it should be located in the general vicinity of the Harbour Bridge or whether other locations should be considered. Both of Transit's preferred options will have major impacts on the City's local road network and surrounding and future land use activities.

”Auckland City would like to consider the outcomes of the Eastern Transport Corridor work, which should be presented in March 2004, and State Highway 20 Avondale work, before proceeding with additional new harbour crossing investigations,” says Mr McKeown.

“It is vital to look at other alternatives to deal with Auckland traffic issues. It is possible that neither of the two options presented by Transit is the right solution for Auckland, and I would support analyses going forward being conducted by a multidisciplinary group.”

The cost of another harbour crossing has been estimated at $3 billion.

“The Transport Committee recommends that Transit separately undertake work to look at maintenance issues on the existing bridge, particularly the clip-ons. It would be good to get more detailed information about this critical issue,” said Mr McKeown.

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