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Vital Auckland State Highway Projects put at risk

AUCKLAND BUSINESS FORUM
Motorway Network Completion by 2015

1 July 2008

Media Release

Vital Auckland State Highway Projects put at risk

Strong objections to the failure of Transit New Zealand’s State Highway Programme released today to confirm construction funding for two vital ‘ready to go’ projects was voiced by Auckland Business Forum chairman Michael Barnett.

The Newmarket Viaduct replacement and Victoria Park Tunnel projects are vital links in easing congestion in the central motorway junction and have been consented a year ahead of schedule and ready for construction since last year.

“The loss of opportunity to bring the projects forward and achieve completion on the Newmarket project ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2011 is unacceptable,” said Mr Barnett.

Given that Transit did the hard work to get the projects consented a year ahead of schedule, someone in Government needs to explain why the opportunity to accelerate the projects construction has not been converted, he said.

He noted that capacity to construct should not be an issue despite the other projects underway on the Western Ring Route, given that a consortium had been appointed for the Newmarket and assurances the design modifications for the Victoria Park Tunnel to accommodate a future 3rd Harbour Crossing were not reasons to delay construction.

He noted that in 2005 the Government gave a committed that all key projects in Auckland with the exception of Waterview on the Western Ring Route would be substantially completed within five years. “This latest delay to Newmarket and Victoria Park puts that promise at risk and that’s unacceptable,” said Mr Barnett.

Noting that today’s programme announcement made no mention of why the project’s had not been funded despite both featuring in Transit’s forecast, Mr Barnett said he hoped this meant the door had been left open for Government to reconsider – and this would be done with speed and urgency.

ends

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