Thursday, April 18, 2024

Homes bowled to make room for busway

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Work is ongoing along Ti Rakau Drive to widen the path required for the Eastern Busway. Times photo Wayne Martin

Numerous homes along a busy east Auckland road are being demolished to make way for the Eastern Busway public transport project.

Auckland Transport (AT) spokesperson Natalie Polley says the current work in Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga, has been in progress since September.

It involves the “deconstruction” and removal of vacant properties along that road between the South-eastern Highway and Ti Rakau Drive Bridge, and on William Roberts Road between Pakuranga Road and Reeves Road.

“Removing these Auckland Council-owned properties will enable the roads to be widened for the construction of two busway lanes and the Reeves Road Flyover,” she says.

“This stage of work is due to be completed by early 2023.”

Polley says environmental sustainability is an important part of the project and as many items as possible from the properties are being reused and repurposed.

“At least 80 per cent of non-contaminated materials will be diverted from landfill.

“The project team has been working with commercial and residential tenants to support them into new accommodation ahead of the deconstruction work beginning.”

Several buildings including the Pakuranga Counselling Centre and two adjacent churches are in the line of work being carried out along Ti Rakau Drive, but Polley says they won’t be removed.

“The project team is working with them to ensure they understand their needs during construction.”

AT interim chief executive Mark Lambert previously said once completed the busway will give nearby communities great options for using public transport.

It will be a vital part of Auckland’s public transport network for decades to come, he said.

“The Eastern Busway will provide better connections and sustainable travel options with a reliable high frequency service every few minutes in peak periods providing a 40-minute bus and train trip between Botany Town Centre and Britomart [in downtown Auckland], saving 20 minutes.

“The new Reeves Road Flyover will improve the reliability of the busway and reduce vehicle congestion around Pakuranga Town Centre.

“By 2028 the busway will carry 18,000 passengers per day, more than four times the 3700 bus passengers per day prior to Covid-19.

“By 2048 it is expected to increase to 24,000 passengers per day.

“The busway will increase access to jobs and education, connect people to social and commercial opportunities, attract investment and growth, and enable urban development.”

AT previously planned to delay construction of the busway for two years due to funding constraints but later reversed course.

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