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NZTA confirms route for Western Ring Route completion

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The NZ Transport Agency Board has confirmed the combined surface/tunnel alignment for the Waterview Connection project that will complete the Western Ring Route around Auckland. The alignment is the same as that selected by the board in May this year as its preferred option.

The NZ Transport Agency Board has confirmed the combined surface/tunnel alignment for the Waterview Connection project that will complete the Western Ring Route around Auckland. The alignment is the same as that selected by the board in May this year as its preferred option.

Chairman Brian Roche said the Board was aware of the community’s interests and concerns about aspects of the project, and he believed the combined surface tunnel alignment was the best option to complete the Western Ring Route within available funding.

“We know that building a major infrastructure project in urban Auckland will affect people’s lives and the environment. The Waterview Connection project is especially challenging because no land has ever been set aside to connect the highway network.”

In confirming the alignment, Mr Roche said the Board was confident that the project’s effects could be managed in a fair and reasonable way and that many of the community concerns can be addressed through good design. Further work will be done before the board gives approval to begin statutory consent processes.

Over the next two months the NZTA will provide the Board with details on how a range of issues will be addressed. These include noise, loss of open space, air quality, and whether the gap between the different tunnel constructions near Great North and Blockhouse Bay Roads can be closed.

“We are acutely aware of the community’s concerns about the effect of this project in their neighbourhoods and how the issues they have raised will be managed. The Board is confident that these issues will be addressed as we proceed to the next step.

“We’ve chosen a route that is affordable and which can be completed on time. We believe it provides the best balance between the need to complete the Western Ring Route with the impacts on surrounding communities. This route can also be funded within the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), providing certainty for construction, which could begin as soon as 2011.” 

The Western Ring Route is one of seven Roads of National Significance identified earlier this year by Government. Completing it will provide major benefits for Auckland and New Zealand, and the Waterview Connection is the final link needed to unlock its full benefits, Mr Roche said.
 
The Waterview Connection will connect SH20 at Mt Roskill to the Northwestern Motorway (SH16). The route travels the length of Alan Wood Reserve but avoids most other open space areas valued by the community. In the south where the project will be at surface, the motorway will be built adjacent to an area that already has land set aside for rail.

Visit the Waterview Connection website at www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/sh20-waterview-connection/(external link)

Further information:

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T 64 4 894 6285 
M  0212 763 222  
andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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