NZTA 's preferred option for Western Ring Route
13 May 2009
NZTA announces preferred option for Western Ring Route completion
The NZ Transport Agency Board has announced its preferred option for completing the Western Ring Route around Auckland by connecting SH20 at Mt Roskill to the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).
Board chairman Brian Roche says the option selected for the Waterview Connection project can be funded within the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), providing certainty for construction, which could begin as soon as 2011.
“The Western Ring Route is one of seven Roads of National Significance recently identified by Government, and completing it will provide huge benefits for Auckland and New Zealand. The Waterview Connection is the final link to complete this route and unlock its full benefits,” Mr Roche said.
The option selected by the board involves a combined surface/tunnel option. The route travels the length of Alan Wood Reserve but avoids most other open space areas valued by the community. In the south where the project will be at surface, the motorway will be built adjacent to an area that already has land set aside for rail.
Mr Roche said the new route would cost approximately $1.4 billion and could be completed in around four years. This cost includes associated SH16 works and is in 2015 dollars.
“We’ve chosen a route option which we can afford now and which can be completed on time. We believe it provides the best balance between the need to complete the Western Ring Route in an affordable way as soon as possible with the needs of the communities the road will pass through.”
Mr Roche said while completing the Western Ring Route was crucial for the region’s economic development, at a local level there was no easy way to achieve it and all options affected communities one way or another.
“Any major infrastructure project built in suburban Auckland will always be challenging and this one is especially so because no land has ever been set aside to connect the highway network.
“NZTA recognises that the project will have a significant impact on the community. We are committed to working with residents and other key stakeholders to get their views on how the project can best by integrated with the surrounding urban area. It will be important for the board to get this feedback prior to confirming a final alignment,” he said.
NZTA will seek feedback until the end of July.
Visit the Waterview Connection website at www.nzta.govt.nz/waterviewconnection