A $100 million contract was signed yesterday for the Ameti (Auckland-Manukau eastern transport initiative) eastern busway stage between Panmure & Pakuranga.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford, Auckland mayor Phil Goff & Auckland Transport officials signed the contract with construction company Fulton Hogan Ltd.
The whole first section of the busway has been priced at $275 million. $700 million of the total $1.4 billion project cost will be funded from the regional fuel tax, which Mr Goff said had enabled construction to be brought forward.
Mr Goff said: “For too long we have under-invested in public transport for East Auckland. As the area has grown, the roads have become more congested without suitable alternative transport options. The $1.4 billion being invested in the Eastern Busway from Panmure to Botany helps rectify this. It will be transformational for the area.”
The official estimate is that, using the busway & the new Panmure rail station, commuters will be able to travel from Botany to Britomart in under 40 minutes, cutting travel time by over a third.
The busway consists of several major pieces of infrastructure, including completing the busway between Panmure & Botany, stations at Pakuranga & Botany, the Reeves Rd flyover at Pakuranga Town Centre, and better space for pedestrians & cyclists.
Reduced journey times & better accessibility to other parts of Auckland would also improve the range of employment & leisure options for people in Auckland’s south-east. These factors were included in a report showing the busway would generate about $680 million of additional gdp over 40 years.
Construction begins in April and will take about 2 years. Parts of Lagoon Drive & Pakuranga Rd will be widened to create a dedicated, congestion-free busway, similar to the Northern Busway. Panmure Roundabout will be turned into a signalised intersection, there will be new paths for walking & cycling, improved public spaces & reserves, a second bridge across the Tamaki River and several intersections will be improved.
The contract with Fulton Hogan also signals a strong commitment to “social procurement”, with specific clauses on environmental standard, minimum wage payments & recruitment practices targeting youth, Maori & Pacific people.
Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison added: “It has been an important part of our approach to apply socially responsible guidelines so we can ensure positive community results that cover areas beyond transport, including employment, waste management & youth training.”
Auckland Transport has also worked with mana whenua to recognise the cultural significance of the area through the design of new public spaces, reserves, enhanced streetscapes, landscaping & mahi toi (artworks) along the project route.
Attribution: Council release.