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Sh20: Waterview Connection By 2015 Business Case

Sh20: Waterview Connection By 2015 Business Case - Update

12 May 2008

The Auckland Business Forum is urging the New Zealand Transport Agency to use private sector expertise to help design the most cost-effective and innovative way to build the 5.3 km SH20: Waterview Connection to complete the Western Ring Route (WRR) by 2015 or sooner.

Forum chairman Michael Barnett strongly welcomed Government’s indication allowing the project to proceed within a $1 - $1.4 billion envelope but leaving NZTA to decide between three design options within the money available.

“The Government is being responsible in seeking a cost effective solution and pragmatic in allowing the transport specialists to determine the best design outcome. This gives the private sector room to work with NZTA to design a creative solution.

“The aim should be a mitigated Waterview route future proofed to be 3-lanes in each direction consistent with the rest of Auckland’s motorway network that is of a high international ‘best practice’ standard,” said Mr Barnett. The Forum notes that the money available includes the 3-laning of the SH16 northwestern approach.

An Auckland Business Forum submission calculated that more than $1 billion could be saved if the project was reconfigured to an enhanced mitigation surface option at the eastern end similar to the just-completed Mt Roskill Extension and under passes and/or tunnels under local roads and Oakley Creek at the western end.

Other key points in the Forum submission included:

• Property owners directly affected should receive a generous premium payment above Government Valuation.

• An enhanced mitigation option in which property owners received a premium price could be build for around $1.2 billion generating a saving of more than $1.5 billion on the full tunnel option.

• An option is to complete the connection as two sub-projects – one at the eastern end that is primarily surface route and the second that addresses the key mitigation issues in an advanced technology basis (realignment of Great North Road into/ under the motorway)

• Completion by 2015 is achievable, but construction will need to begin by mid-2011 and consenting, property acquisition and bid processes to commence in April/ May this year.

• A 2015 completion will release benefits of around $800 million per year, of which around $100 million will flow beyond the Auckland economy and contribute to improving New Zealand’s international competitiveness and productivity. Delayed completion means a loss of these benefits.

ENDS

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