The Mayor has welcomed the release by the New Zealand Transport Agency of a report on an additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing.
The NZTA has identified an additional crossing operated in conjunction with the existing Harbour Bridge as the most appropriate way forward.
The reports do not recommend a preferred form of crossing and Len Brown says that is appropriate given the Prime Minister’s support for the Auckland Plan process, which begins this week with the Auckland Unleashed Summit.
The reports indicate a bridge would have a marginally higher cost benefit ratio than a tunnel but also note that obtaining consent for a bridge is improbable.
“My initial view is that the tunnel option makes more sense. However, I want to hear Aucklanders’ perspective on the options available.
The Mayor says the most important issue at this time is to keep our options open. “The Auckland Plan is the process we must work through as we move forward,” says Len Brown. “That is something the Prime Minister and I have stressed.
“Tunnelling technologies are advancing quickly and many countries are building combined road and rail tunnels that would future proof our system. The study only looks at duel tunnels and I hope NZTA will look at single tunnel options for the future.
“Whichever option is agreed to, it must include capacity for rail. Sooner or later, a rail link will be required to the North Shore. But more than that, a rail link to the North Shore is required to make the rail network as a whole work properly.”
“Public transport will be a key focus of Wednesday’s Auckland Unleashed summit. Getting our public transport system right is not negotiable if the new Auckland is to achieve its potential as the world’s most liveable city and the economic powerhouse of the nation,” says the Mayor.