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Motorway Network Completion by 2015

AUCKLAND BUSINESS FORUM
Motorway Network Completion by 2015

2 December 2009
Media Release

“Urgency” is the Only Word for It!

Based on the information the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has shared today, the only conclusion to draw is that irrespective of what Auckland would like to do, a third harbour bridge is urgent, says Auckland Business Forum Chairman Michael Barnett.

He was commenting on NZTA disclosures that the cost of fixing the clip-ons has climbed from $45million in May 2008 to now be $86million, and that the work must be completed to keep the bridge functioning. NZTA also confirmed today they have lodged a notice of requirement with North Shore and Auckland City Councils to protect a tunnel option for a third harbour crossing, even though a bridge option has not been ruled out.

There is good reason for Auckland to be concerned when NZTA tells us:

• If left unrestricted the north bound clip-on especially has a life of 10-20 years; and
• Currently there is no programme for building a tunnel or another bridge, but the estimate is it would take 10-15 years.

Mr Barnett further noted a Beca report released today confirmed the current bridge has a finite life, and a need exists for an additional harbour crossing.

“Clearly we need to get ourselves organized. We need a firm work programme as soon as possible. We need to stop procrastinating. We need to get our funding options sorted and get on with it.”

Like any second hand car, the bridge repair bills are getting to a point where we must look at a replacement as soon as possible.

Mr Barnett was particularly concerned that the information shared today doesn’t portray Auckland as a forward-looking region that plans strategically for the needs of a growing city and its commercial and freight traffic.

I underscore the urgency around this and the need for planning on a long term 50 year plus horizon, concluded Mr Barnett.

ENDS

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