Newmarket Viaduct construction ready for start
AUCKLAND BUSINESS FORUM
Motorway Network Completion by 2015
17 October 2007
Newmarket Viaduct Construction “ready for a pre-Christmas start”
News that construction is ready to start on the $150 million duplication of the Newmarket Viaduct 12 months ahead of schedule is a welcome breakthrough in Auckland’s long struggle to fix its transport problems, says Auckland Business Forum chairman Michael Barnett.
Construction is currently programmed to commence in 2009/10 and not be completed until 2012 – well past the Rugby World Cup. However, a faster than expected consent process which avoided the need for an Environment Court hearing means that project is now “ready to go” and could be started before Christmas.
The regional funds needed to accelerate the project and allow for a pre-Christmas start were approved by the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee last month. The final ‘go ahead’ for an earlier construction start is needed from Land Transport New Zealand and the Transit New Zealand Board. “This should be a formality, given the big benefits of getting the project completed as soon as possible,” said Mr Barnett.
An early construction start would mean the project would be completed early in 2011 and well before the Rugby World Cup.
An accelerated completion of the viaduct would bring a number of benefits forward, including help reduce congestion through Spaghetti Junction, improve traffic flows in the Newmarket area, and provide continuity of work for the construction workforce that is finishing another project before Christmas.
“I understand that this is the first major Auckland State Highway project that has not involved a protracted consultation and consent process ending with a lengthy Environment Court hearing. Transit deserves congratulations for that.
The early start will also help save taxpayers money as construction costs will be 12 months ahead of budget.”