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Mayor welcomes Busway funding decision


27 May 2004

MAYORAL STATEMENT –

'Mayor welcomes Busway funding decision and urges fast progress on construction start'

North Shore City's Mayor George Wood is welcoming the announcement today by Transfund that it has approved the $180m funding for Transit to build the 8.5km Northern Busway.

"This funding decision is great news for North Shore City and its residents. We can now power ahead with the project. I'll be urging Transit to get building this as soon as possible. This is a major step forward and I'm absolutely delighted that after all this planning we have the final green light for construction on the busway corridor to begin.

"We are already making good progress on the Albany and Constellations stations which will open next year and deliver immediate improvements to pubic transport services. I can't wait to see the bulldozers out there building the Busway corridor itself. Auckland needs this kind of public transport infrastructure to encourage people out of their cars," says George Wood.

He says it is also great news that tenders will go out at the end of the month for Transit's $36m Esmonde Rd Interchange and Busway Stage 1 contracts. North Shore City Council will join in the process, adding in $9m worth of associated projects including work on the Akoranga Station.

"Our council is responsible for building the stations along the busway. This joined-up tender process will integrate Transit's upgrade of Esmonde Road Interchange with the Northern Busway and the Akoranga Station. By working together we can save ratepayers money and avoid delays."

Mayor Wood says the North Shore City works include
* Fred Thomas Drive extension, Des Swan Drive to Esmonde Road
* Upper Esmonde Road tie-in, retaining wall and road widening
* Stormwater quality treatment improvements
* Akoranga Station civil works, retaining walls, road pavements, earthworks and footpaths
* Akoranga Station Link Road and Bridge
* Akoranga Station to Auckland University of Technology footbridge central median pier

The awarding of the tender will come back to the council in September for final approval, with construction work starting soon after that.

"I'm excited about the progress we are making now. In April 2005 new bus services and streamlined bus routes to the Auckland central business district will be introduced using the two new park and ride stations at Albany and Constellation Drive. Auckland City Council has also just got Infrastructure Auckland funding approval for bus priority measures along Fanshawe Street to connect with the busway. Transit expects work on building the busway corridor itself to begin by the end of the year," says George Wood.

"We are well on-track now to making this Northern Busway a reality for residents by 2007."

[ends]

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