Auckland: Five scenarios for Waitematā Harbour Connections revealed

Auckland, new zealand, Waitemata Harbour Connections, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency,

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and partners seek feedback on five scenarios for crossing Te Waitematā and how best to connect to the North Shore and the wider transport network.

Last year, people were asked how they wanted to travel across the harbour in the future and what modes were important to them. Considering that feedback, Waka Kotahi has been working over the past six months to consider future connections across the harbour and how we connect to residential and business hubs in growing urban areas on the North Shore.

Transport Minister Michael Wood has unveiled five scenarios for one of the most significant city-shaping projects for Tāmaki Makaurau in the coming decades, the additional Waitematā Harbour crossing.

“Aucklanders and businesses have made it clear that the biggest barrier to the success of Auckland is persistent congestion, and after years of inaction by the previous government, we are on track to fix it,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“We want an unclogged, connected, and futureproofed transport network so Aucklanders can get to work on time and don’t need to wake up earlier just to get their kids to school – it’s vital that we have a harbour crossing that works for the city,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“The additional Waitematā Harbour connections, for which construction will begin in 2029, will provide a future proofed solution for people wanting to travel across Te Waitematā, be it by car, bus, light rail, walking, cycling, or truck as fast as possible,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“After considering feedback from Aucklanders, we’ve developed five scenarios for future transport connections across Te Waitematā, including both bridge and tunnel options. The scenarios also include ways to connect to growing residential and business hubs on the North Shore,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

Brett Gliddon, Group General Manager Transport Services Waka Kotahi, says crossing options for Te Waitematā, including bridges, tunnels, and a combination of the two, have been looked at in tandem with how the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge is best utilised.

“Each scenario has different combinations of options, including how the existing harbour bridge is used, how different modes use new bridges or tunnels, and how bridges and tunnels could work together. Every option comes with its impacts, opportunities and constraints, which is why we are eager to understand which connections matter the most to people,” says Waka Kotahi Transport Services General Manager Brett Gliddon. 

“Community engagement is key to this project’s success, and before we can move to the next stage and recommend a preferred way forward, we’re seeking more feedback,” says Waka Kotahi Transport Services General Manager Brett Gliddon. 

Every scenario will provide facilities for all modes of travel, including walking, cycling, light rail, bus, goods and services vehicles, freight and general traffic. This is imperative to ensuring everyone has better accessibility, and more resilient travel choices across the wider transport network.

“Through the Government’s investment we a building a linked up rapid transit network across the city, to provide faster, safer, low-carbon travel. This connection, with Light Rail at its heart, is key to delivering this vision,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“Rapid transit already delivers tens of millions of journeys across Auckland every year through the heavy rail network and the Northern busway, but we know that we have to keep investing to build the fully integrated, linked up network we need for a modern, connected region,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“A new rapid transit connection from the city centre to the North Shore will fully integrate with other projects including Auckland Light Rail and rapid transit to the Northwest to allow people to travel seamlessly across Auckland,” says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

Waka Kotahi and partners recognise the need to integrate transport improvements with quality urban development to unlock future growth, offering more opportunities to live closer to education, work, and other services, supporting a productive economy.

Last year’s survey confirmed strong public support for the project with almost every Aucklander having travelled over the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the last 12 months. While 30% of those that currently cross the harbour used public transport, 88% said they would catch a bus or a train across if they could.

The engagement survey opens today, Thursday 30 March and will be open until Monday 1 May. Given the scale of the project, people from across the country can have their say via an online survey here.

Feedback provided will help shape the final decision on the preferred option for the crossing which will be confirmed in June 2023. This is a complex project with more planning, design and consenting work to do following confirmation of a preferred option. Elements of the project could be delivered within the decade and construction is likely to begin by 2029.

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