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Pump Up Your Tyres And Top Up Your AT HOP Card: EPA Gives The Tick For Improved Transport Choices In South Auckland

Plans for a new walking and cycling path between Papakura and Drury and an upgrade to the Drury interchange have been given the green light from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), allowing for the extension of the Southern Path between Takanini and Papakura which opened earlier this year.

“Waka Kotahi welcomes the decision by an Expert Consenting Panel to approve this part of the project as an important step forward in our plan to provide Southern Auckland with better transport choices for existing communities and the extra 120,000 people who will make the area home over the next 30 years,” says Waka Kotahi National Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Mark Kinvig.

The application for Stage 1B1 of the Papakura to Drury project (shown in orange on the map below) was processed under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.

“It includes a new shared path for people on foot and on bikes, built alongside the northbound lane of SH1 between Papakura and Drury, which will link in with the next stage of the project when it’s consented and the rest of a city-wide network being developed,” says Mark Kinvig.

“The consent also allows a new, raised Drury interchange to enable electric trains to Pukekohe. The interchange will include additional lanes on Great South Road, improved environmental outcomes including stormwater treatment, better access for over-height vehicles and sections of the new shared path.”

“The Papakura to Drury projects sits nicely alongside others which fall under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s (NZUP) South Auckland package, which includes three new train stations, Papakura to Pukekohe rail electrification, a new third main rail line, Drury local transport network improvements and a re-scoped northern section of Mill Road focused on safety.”

Waka Kotahi is delivering the New Zealand Upgrade Programme with KiwiRail, the Government’s $8.7 billion transport investment in growing areas across the country.

“Communities can look forward to transport improvements that provide more travel choices, help people get where they’re going safely and grow our economy, while responding to the impacts of travel on the environment,” says Mark Kinvig.

Stage 1A of the Papakura to Drury project (shown in green below) is already well underway, with crews continuing to work safely under Alert Level 3 health and safety guidelines.

These works extend the improvements north of Papakura delivered by the recently completed Southern Corridor Improvements project by adding a third lane in each direction and wide shoulders for future bus services.

New noise walls, safety barriers, lighting and storm water treatments also make up the first part of the project. More on the progress of Stage 1A can be found here.

Physical work for Stage 1B1 is expected to start in early 2022 beginning initially with the construction of new bridges to enable electrification of the railway line between Papakura and Pukekohe.

The new interchange will largely be built on the eastern side of the existing interchange to minimise disruption to motorists. Construction of the main interchange will commence in mid-2023.

Consents for Stage 1B2 of the project are expected to be lodged next year. This stage is being consented separately to allow appropriate time for the consideration of the project’s impact on an identified site of cultural significance spanning both sides of the motorway.

Waka Kotahi is working closely with Mana Whenua on this important mahi.

© Scoop Media

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