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Entry statement project deferred

Entry statement project deferred

A proposed project to construct a city entry statement at Te Atatu has been deferred until such time as the Te Atatu Interchange is upgraded by Transit New Zealand.

Transit has indicated that the earliest the Te Atatu interchange could be upgraded is in the 2005/2006 financial year. However, due to funding availability, Transit’s 10-year plan indicates that the interchange upgrade design work is more likely to begin in 2008, with construction in 2009.

The Council is continuing to advocate for the interchange to be upgraded sooner to help ease traffic congestion at the site.

The Council’s City Development Committee has agreed that it makes sense to align the entry statement project with Transit’s interchange upgrade, making it easier to secure funding from other sources and reducing the risk of damage to plants and art elements during construction.

The Committee also agreed that designs for the entry statement and associated landscaping be forwarded to Transit for their consideration before the upgrade begins.

The Council’s existing budget for the entry statement will remain unspent for this financial year.

In the meantime, other components of the project, separate from the entry statement itself - such as native planting areas or walkways within or bordering Harbourview Park and a pedestrian bridge and cycleway - could still be developed as part of other Council projects in the area.

Committee chair, Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone, says it has always been the Council’s intention to seek the majority of funding from external sources to get the project completed at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.

“The light towers and sustainable energy elements of the project may be candidates for such funding. And, as the cost of planting the large site is in the order of $500,000 to $600,000 alone, it also makes sense for us to work in with Transit to have some of that cost shared amongst both our projects,” she says.

“Ultimately this could lead to an enhanced project, resulting in a win-win situation for the two lead parties and the opportunity that a partnership brings in respect of cost savings.

“There are a number of landscaped projects that have been undertaken along motorways in the region, but none have been in Waitakere. We would like a quality, landscaping feature that provides a visual gateway into Waitakere and that makes a statement about the principles and values of our City, its heritage and vision. It would be a unique New Zealand landmark, seen daily by thousands of motorists.”

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