Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council are working in partnership to investigate more resilient, reliable and efficient transport options to connect the growing number of people, goods and services moving across the Waitematā Harbour between the North Shore, Auckland City and beyond.
About the Additional Waitemata Harbour Connections project
Longer-term planning for Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections has been underway for some time and is ongoing.
The recent Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections (AWHC) business case work is being finalised and we expect to share the recommended next steps in more detail later this year.
A key finding from this business case has been the urgent need to enhance the Northern Busway and AT is now progressing that investigation with a Detailed Business Case. The outputs of this work will involve ways of upgrading the Northern Busway over the next few years to increase its capacity, reliability and overall service quality into the future.
The AWHC business case builds on previous work by Waka Kotahi exploring the feasibility of a tunnel crossing, as well as work AT undertook into developing the public transport network. There is still further investigation required to confirm the need, timing, function and form of any additional crossings, before a final decision is made.
The findings of this business case phase will inform and help guide future planning work to provide more clarity about potential future connections. Although details are not yet confirmed, the long-term solutions being investigated would likely be New Zealand’s biggest transport investments, costing billions of dollars and would be expected to take more than 15 years of design and construction work. This mid-2030s completion date is consistent with Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) recommendations, although upgrades to the busway will in the meantime to help keep up with growing patronage.
Business case history
In 2010, Waka Kotahi completed a Preliminary Business Case for road and rail which followed detailed work on the alignment of the AWHC and the assessment of both the bridge and tunnel options. This Preliminary Business Case included initial consideration of need, timing, funding and procurement options.
Between 2016 and 2017, Auckland Transport completed a Strategic Case and Programme Business Case for the future North Shore Rapid Transit Network, which investigated public transport needs and timing.
The current AWHC business case phase has combined the Rapid Transit Network investigation work with the preliminary business case, determining what combination of modes a possible future connection would need to cater for.