Akld State Highway programme can be accelerated
AUCKLAND BUSINESS FORUM - Members
Motorway Network Completion by 2015
11 February 2009
Auckland State Highway programme can also be accelerated….
Commenting on the Government announcement to accelerate State Highway projects in five regional centres, Michael Barnett, chairman of the Auckland Business Forum, said there are also at least two projects in Auckland’s 2015 network completion programme that should be accelerated in the next round of announcements.
He was noting that the purpose of today’s package is to provide an immediate boost to regional economies and keep people employed.
“If the purpose of further announcements to be made in coming months is also to be aimed at lifting New Zealand’s competitiveness and productivity, then acceleration of the programme to complete Auckland’s strategic motorway network by 2015 will be essential.”
Work on addressing two standout ‘bottle necks’ in Auckland’s network that could be accelerated are the Newmarket Viaduct Replacement project just getting underway and the Victoria Park Viaduct duplication that has been consented and ‘ready to go’ for more than a year, noted Mr Barnett.
“With a third of New Zealand’s economy generated in the Auckland region, network completion and these two projects in particular have nationwide implications and which needs to be elevated to ‘priority’ status. To help ease Auckland’s congestion, we also need to keep an eye on getting as much of the Newmarket Viaduct project completed as possible before the Rugby World Cup in 2011,” he suggested. “The congestion benefits from the improvements in the rest of the Central Motorway Junction won’t be realised until these two projects at either end of the junction are fixed.”
The New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) current work programme envisages completion of Newmarket by December 2012 and the Victoria Park projects by 2013/14.
“With the completion of three large Auckland State Highway projects imminent, starting with SH20 Mt Roskill Extension in March which will release a 300-strong workforce, it will be win-win for the Government to have the Victoria Park and Newmarket projects accelerated – good for Auckland’s job market and good for lifting Auckland’s competitiveness, ” said Mr Barnett.