Published 16 August 2007
North Shore City Council said today it would sign on as an equal partner in the Waitemata Harbour crossing study.
It will join Transit NZ, the Auckland Regional Council, ARTA (the regional transport authority) & Auckland City Council to conduct a study of options, to be completed by March.
North Shore infrastructure services general manager Geoff Mason said the scope of the study would be finalised soon by an executive group representing each of the parties.
The Shore council’s infrastructure & environment committee agreed today that the council would contribute up to $325,000 towards the study’s $1.3 million budget. The council will apply to Land Transport NZ for subsidy funding.
The committee’s deputy chairman, Cllr Chris Darby – who’s also on the Regional Land Transport Committee and the city council’s urban design champion – said the council wanted cohesive planning: “A future crossing is beyond Transit’s road-building limitations,” he said.
“Transit’s initial tunnel preference on the Wynard-Onewa alignment risks becoming a short-sighted ‘underwater clip-on’ unless a wider view of the long-term transport needs of the region is considered. The present bridge is little more than a glorified Meccano set assembled by 1950s political compromise. It now shows increasing signs of fatigue and is fast approaching its use-by date. We should be bold enough to consider its deconstruction and the building of a memorable & long-lasting crossing.
“It’s critical we design & engineer a future crossing to accommodate conversion of the Northern Busway to light rail for the medium term, and then upgrade to heavy rail in the long term to facilitate strategic land use plans. General traffic – including priority freight lanes, bus lanes, cycles, pedestrian access & utility supply – are in the mix too.
“I envisage a future with clean & efficient rail connecting Britomart to the Shore, linking to the western line via Orewa and across to Helensville. All parties now need to discover the imagination to deliver a heroic vision capable of enduring into the 22nd century.”
Attribution: Council & Darby releases, story written by Bob Dey for this website.