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New Lynn project an example of cooperation

For immediate release 14 March 2008

New Lynn project an example of cooperation at its best

The New Lynn rail trench project is an example of creative thinking and cooperation which will allow rail and road to complement rather than compete with each other, ONTRACK Chairman Cam Moore, said today.

Speaking at a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the trenching project, Mr Moore says expansion of rail services in a region in which roads are congested, creates a challenge for transport planners.

“ONTRACK’s role is to build rail infrastructure. Other authorities have their own specialised tasks. Without cooperation among the agencies and authorities involved, there is a risk that different transport modes will compete rather than complement. Collectively, we will not retain the goodwill of the travelling public if we are seen to be creating barriers to the flow of traffic because we can’t work together.

In New Lynn’s case I am happy to say that good cooperation among the agencies - Waitakere City Council, ARTA and ONTRACK - has enabled the best transport option to be identified for the town. The measure of the strength of a partnership is its effectiveness in resolving issues that arise. There have been issues to overcome at New Lynn, but through cooperation, we’ve resolved them.”

Mr Moore said the eight-metre deep one kilometre long rail trench will eliminate three busy level crossings, including the notorious Clark Street-Rankin Avenue roundabout. It will also increase the overall number of railway crossing points.

He said the reduction in traffic congestion and improved access across town will stimulate continued development in what is already a growing commercial centre.

The $120 million project is the largest single element of the Auckland Rail Upgrade (Project DART) outside the electrification of the network which is scheduled for completion by 2013. It will involve the removal of 100,000 cubic metres of earth and the pouring of 60,000 cubic metres of concrete for the trench floor and retaining walls.

“I understand that 13 cranes will be working on the site at the project’s peak, some so large they have been brought in from as far away as Dubai, Hong Kong and Italy. When the work is finished, we will have more trains travelling through the heart of New Lynn causing a minimum of disruption to the movement of people and vehicles and the life of the community. There is a ‘but’ however,” Mr Moore said. “We won’t be able to do the work without causing disruption – either to the community or to rail services. On behalf of ONTRACK, I’ll make a plea now for patience while we do the work.”

The project is due for completion in two years time.

Ends

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