Five options for new Auckland harbour crossing revealed

Five options for new Auckland harbour crossing revealed

The Government has announced five new options for an additional connection across Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour.

Feedback is being sought on the various scenarios, with the final decision to be confirmed in June before construction starts in 2029, Transport Minister Michael Wood said this morning.

Construction is brought forward from the 2040s.

“We want an uncongested, connected and future-proof transport network so that Aucklanders can get to work on time and not have to wake up earlier just to get their kids to school – it’s vital that we have a harbor crossing that works for the city ,” Wood said.

The five scenarios include both bridge and tunnel options.

“Each scenario includes a new walking and cycling link across Te Waitematā, a new light rail link that will connect with Auckland Light Rail in the city centre, and building generations of resilience in State Highway One for private vehicles and freight,” Wood said.

The scenarios

The first option would see a new light rail tunnel in the harbour’s east, linking the Wynyard Quarter with Smales Farm near Takapuna, as well as a new tunnel section of SH1 directly between the Central Freeway Junction and Akoranga Drive.

Walking and cycling will be provided by reallocating space on the existing Harbor Bridge.

The first option is considered the most expensive.

The second option, considered the cheapest, would see a new bridge built next to the existing Harbor Bridge for light rail, walking, cycling and three additional general traffic lanes.

The new bridge “will be of a similar slope and height to the existing bridge”.

The third option would see a new light rail tunnel to the harbour’s west, connecting Wynyard to Takapuna via Birkenhead, and a new bridge for SH1 traffic directly between the Central Motorway Junction and Sulfur Bridge.

Walking and cycling will be provided on the new bridge.

The fourth option would see a new bridge alongside the existing harbor bridge for light rail, walking and cycling, land at Sulfur Beach.

A new tunnel section of SH1 will be built directly between the Central Expressway Junction and Akoranga Drive.

The fifth option would see a new bridge for light rail, walking and cycling land from Wynyard Point at Sulfur Beach, with a new tunnel section of SH1 to be built directly between the Central Motorway Junction and Akoranga Drive.

Aucklanders are being asked to provide feedback through a portal on Waka Kotahi’s website.

A table of the options shows the estimated costs between $15 billion and $25 billion.

National Party’s response

Launching the plan this morning, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he was “confident” the idea of ​​a second harbor crossing would gain cross-party support, when asked how he could commit to it with a general election fast approaching. come closer

National’s transport spokesman Simeon Brown said the opposition party “supports a second Auckland Harbor Crossing but questions Labour’s ability to deliver given their track record”.

“National believes that projects that are delivered are much more important than projects that are announced.

“National has a proven track record of delivering key infrastructure projects in Auckland and we will continue this legacy if elected to government in October,” he said.

Green Party response

Julie Anne Genter, spokeswoman for the Green Party transport, called the options to include more car lanes “extremely disappointing”.

“The government must prioritize climate action for any second crossing, as well as expanding rapid transit across the city.

“None of the options on offer today will reduce climate pollution or car congestion across our transport networks in Auckland. In fact, they are likely to make both worse,” she said.

ACT Party response

ACT Party leader David Seymour said “no one would deny that another crossing over Auckland Harbor would be a great thing” but “Chris Hipkins needs to show what has changed to fast track a new Auckland making harbor crossing a realistic proposition”.

“What did they do to make an early crossover possible other than wish? When did they start working on this change? If it’s possible, why didn’t they do it earlier?

“New Zealand cannot afford infrastructure being used as a political football,” he said.

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