NZ Council for Infrastructure Development chief executive Stephen Selwood said on Friday the joint NZ Transport Agency-Auckland Transport east-west connection project would address urgent Penrose-Onehunga freight needs but a long-term solution required far more than that, and the strategy outlined on Thursday through 6 options put out for feedback was unclear.
Mr Selwood said it was a critical corridor which also needed to cater for planned residential intensification and growth from the eastern suburbs to the airport. But he commented: “Too often major projects in New Zealand are developed in a piecemeal fashion and modified & reduced to satisfy environmental & local interests without adequate consideration of strategic implications or the relative cost of lost accessibility & reduced economic efficiency.
“For Aucklanders to provide worthwhile feedback on the proposals, it is essential that they understand the full benefits & costs of each option and the long-term strategic implications.
“The options proposed are concentrated on the Onehunga-Penrose catchment zone which, while still the largest in terms of employment, represents just one fifth of the $11 billion/year generated across the industrial zones bordering the Manukau Harbour & Tamaki Estuary. Little information has been provided, to date, on the benefits, costs & strategic implications of the alternatives proposed.
“Connectivity to East Tamaki as well as further south to Mangere and on to the airport is not planned for improvement in these proposals, except through improved bus movement. How these areas will be connected into the future has great bearing on what the appropriate solution is for this first phase of investment.
“One option considered in earlier analysis included a motorway south of the Manukau Harbour. It provided long-term connectivity not only between the industrial areas, but for all communities in the east of Auckland accessing employment & the airport.
“It was almost immediately terminated following public reaction, leaving a northern Manukau Harbour solution as the most politically acceptable. However, given that the proposals released on Thursday provide no new east-west connectivity for Glen Innes, Panmure, Howick, Pakuranga, Botany and the industrial areas of East Tamaki & Mt Wellington, it is not clear how existing & projected growth demand in these areas will be addressed.”
The transport agencies have proposed bus priority between Mangere, Otahuhu & Sylvia Park and 6 options on improving connections into & out of Onehunga-Penrose:
- Option A: Existing route upgrade
- Option B: Upgrade with South-eastern Highway ramp
- Option C: Upgrade with new Galway St & inland connections
- Option D: Upgrade with Gloucester Park interchange and new Galway St & inland connections
- Option E: New foreshore connection
- Option F: New foreshore & inland connection
3 October 2014: East-west “connections” feedback sought – with no closing date
17 January 2014: Transport agencies ditch east-west plans south of Manukau
2 August 2013: Brownlee commits to more Ameti & East-West Link work
Attribution: NZCID, NZTA, Auckland Transport.