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$120 m New Lynn transport upgrade

$120 m Auckland infrastructure announcement - New Lynn transport upgrade



Click to enlarge

New Lynn artist concept

Hon Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

Hon David Cunliffe
MP for New Lynn
Associate Economic Development Minister

A pdf illustration of the project can be found on the Beehive website at:

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=28114

Government funding has been confirmed for a multi-million dollar revamp for New Lynn rail station and full trenching of a twin-tracked rail line through central New Lynn.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has approved $120m for the grade separation option for the New Lynn rail station, complementing funding commitments from Waitakere City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

"This is part of the Labour-led government's investment in world-class infrastructure for Auckland," Dr Cullen said.

New Lynn MP David Cunliffe, the Associate Economic Development Minister, said the announcement, one of the biggest government investments New Lynn has ever seen, was fantastic news.

"This project will transform the town centre and lead to more investment and jobs in New Lynn," Mr Cunliffe said.

The project involves the full trenching and double tracking of the line at Portage Rd, continuing for about one kilometre throughout the length of the town centre.

The Whau Bridge will be replaced, Hetana St and Memorial Drive will be extended and two road-over-rail crossings built. Discussions will be held in the New Year on the potential uses for the above-rail development.

The project will also help deal with future issues associated with State Highway 20 traffic flows.

The project enjoys the backing of the Waitakere City Council, the Auckland Regional Council, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, the Auckland City Council and ONTRACK as well as the government.

"This project shows how co-operation between local, regional and central government agencies can be a success," Dr Cullen said.

ONTRACK has been asked to commence planning work on the project and a timeline for work completion will be available in the New Year. Complementary private sector development is expected for future stages.

--

Backgrounder

In Budget 06 the government allocated $600 million over three years to ONTRACK for Project DART – a series of infrastructure improvements to enable better rail services in Auckland.

One of these projects is the double tracking of the western line.

That project gave rise to whether the line at New Lynn should be built at grade (ground level as now) or trenched.

It was decided that Grade Separation (building the line in the trench) was the preferred option.

The government's $120m funding for this project is one of the biggest government investments New Lynn has ever seen.


What will this mean for New Lynn?

The existing line means that New Lynn is divided into two sections.

Trenching the line will see the rail station integrated into the town centre, opening up more opportunities for development.

Other potential benefits include:

- · Less traffic at the Clark St roundabout – currently a major traffic bottleneck.

- · Greater integration with the existing bus station.

- · Ground-level crossings will be removed making it safer for pedestrians.

- · Better rail services will see more people getting out of their cars and opting for the train.

Around one kilometre of track will be "trenched" to depths of between five and eight metres below the existing ground level between Portage Rd and Titirangi Rd. Retaining walls will be about 800m long. The Portage Rd level crossing will be lowered by about a metre.

Part of the Labour-led government's economic transformation agenda is to see Auckland developed into an internationally competitive city. Having a world-class transport system is essential to achieving this goal.

The cooperation between the government, Waitakere City Council, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland Regional Transport Authority and ONTRACK has been central to making this project happen.

There is also potential for private sector investment in the future.


How is the project being funded?

The project is a partnership between the government, Waitakere City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

The government has committed $120m to the project as part of the $600 million allocated for Project DART - complementing contributions from the Waitakere City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

Who will complete the work?

The project will be undertaken by owner and manager of New Zealand's railway infrastructure, ONTRACK.


When will work start and when will it be complete?

Geotechnical work is already underway and detailed design work is expected to be completed by the end of June 2007. Construction will begin in 2007 and will be completed by the end of 2009.


Next steps

The government has asked ONTRACK to commence construction as soon as possible.

ONTRACK will commence seeking registrations of interest from the market prior to Christmas.

A consultative process with local businesses and other stakeholders will take place in the New Year.

ONTRACK and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority will also discuss any disruptions to services and how these will be managed.


For more information

More information will be available on the Waitakere City Council website: www.waitakere.govt.nz

and the Project DART website:
www.projectDART.org.nz.


ENDS

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