With the news this week that construction on the City Rail Link in central Auckland set to resume under level 3 restrictions, the Times has been supplied with an e-mail from Auckland Council outlining current and future projects, and council’s preferred order of priority.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday, April 22 that getting transport infrastructure projects back on track is a focus for the Government.
Auckland Council has submitted a list of 73 key projects to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, a government task force set up to effectively seek out ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects that can start quickly to stimulate the economy and reduce the economic impact of Covid-19.
The Eastern Busway project 1, crucial to the east Auckland area, comes in fourth on the list of priorities behind the refurbishment of Auckland’s Marae.
Marae refurbishment, perhaps done before winter arrives and providing work for insulators and other tradespeople, appears more important to Auckland Council in a post-Covid environment.
Construction of the Busway is already well underway – the project broke ground in 2019, with the aim of creating high frequency, rapid transit bus travel for east Auckland.
The first stage includes turning Panmure roundabout into a safer, signalised intersection, construction of the busway along Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road, a new bridge across Tamaki River, shared cycling and walking paths, a new reserve at the end of Bridge Street in Panmure along with improvements for general traffic at key intersections.
Future stages of the Eastern Busway between Pakuranga and Botany, including the Reeves Road Flyover, are currently entering the consenting process and construction due to start in 2022.
The Times approached Auckland Council for comment on the reasoning behind prioritising marae upgrades ahead of continuing with a major transport project, but no reply was received by deadline despite assurances from a media spokesperson.
Have your say: Should Council put marae upgrades ahead of a multi-million dollar project designed to make life easier for east Auckland’s commuters? Email email@example.com with your thoughts.