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Tunnels were always the right answer – former Mayor

Andrew Williams MP
Spokesperson for Local Government

28 June 2013

Tunnels were always the right answer – former Mayor

“We have known for a decade or more that another harbour crossing is essential and that road and rail tunnels are by far the best option”, says former North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams, the NZ First spokesperson for Local Government.

“Back in May 2008, the Waitemata Crossing Study Team, in which North Shore City Council was a partner, recommended the “four tunnel option 2C”, two road and two rail tunnels to the east of the existing bridge. This was after narrowing a long list of 159 options over several years of studies.”

“I am pleased the years of deliberation are finally over and Auckland can get on with designing and building the road and rail tunnels to come to the rescue of the aging Auckland Harbour Bridge, which will need major reconstruction of its “clip-ons” within the next few decades.”

“The tunnels option was the only sensible solution as it allows future rail from the Shore to directly link at underground level into the Central Rail Loop. A bridge at elevation would not have allowed this seamless rail connection.”

“The tunnels option will allow the existing harbour bridge to become much more of an “Auckland CBD feeder road” which could also accommodate pedestrian and cycle traffic, while the tunnels will become the SH1 main north-south route and the link for rail to the North Shore.”

“Looking out further, with rail commencing at Orewa and coming down the central North Shore spine, an eventual extension of the southern rail network to Auckland Airport will deliver a fast and reliable electric rail system covering the four points of the compass. This regional rail network will take pressure off the road network, while expanding the wider regional connectivity of all transport modes.” says Mr. Williams.

ENDS

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